Bennet Bill Designating Chimney Rock as National Monument Clears Key Committee Hurdle

Bill to Provide Much-needed Protection and Much-deserved Recognition for Chimney Rock Headed to Senate Floor

Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the Chimney Rocky National Monument Act of 2010 with bipartisan support.  The, legislation, which he and Congressman John Salazar authored, would establish Chimney Rock Archaeological area in southwest Colorado as a National Monument:  

“Chimney Rock lacks a designation equal to its historically and culturally significant stature,” said Bennet.  “Local leaders, economic development officials and environmental advocates all agree: It’s time to give Chimney Rock the designation it deserves.  Working together, we will continue to move this bill forward, providing much-needed protection – and much-deserved recognition – for Chimney Rock that will preserve this archaeological treasure for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

Chimney Rock is located West of Pagosa Springs in Colorado’s Archuleta County.  The bill will designate 4,726 acres surrounding Chimney Rock Archeological Area as a National Monument to preserve, protect, and restore the nationally significant archeological, cultural, scientific, watershed and scenic resources.  Chimney Rock will remain a unit of the San Juan National Forest, and Native American tribes will retain access to the sites for traditional and cultural uses.  

The 4,700 acre site located on San Juan National Forest land is recognized as perhaps the most significant historical site managed by the entire US Forest Service.

In May, Bennet testified in support of the legislation in a hearing before the National Parks Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which is chaired by Senator Mark Udall.  Senator Udall is also a cosponsor of the legislation.

For A Letter of Support from Preservationists and Environmentalists, click here.

For a Letter of Support from Archuleta County Commisioners, click here.

For A Letter of Support from the Mayor of Pagosa Springs, click here.