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COUSFLAF  Congressman Scott Tipton and Senator Mark Udall are currently receiving public comments regarding possible legislation that would change Colorado National Monument to Rim Rock Canyons National Park. Please contact Representative Tipton and Senator Udall with your concerns about the plan to “fix what ain’t broke” by redesignating the Colorado National Monument as a national park. Please leave comments for Congressman Scott Tipton (R) representing Colorado’s third District at his Grand Junction office.

Please leave comments for Congressman Scott Tipton (R) representing Colorado’s third District at his Grand Junction office.

Please tell Representative Scott Tipton you OPPOSE national park status.

Please tell Senator Mark Udall you OPPOSE national park status.

Leave comments for Senator Mark Udall (D) at his West Slope Regional office.

Winning the Fight for our Lands and Lifestyle in Western Colorado


As Friends of the Colorado National Monument, we are simply a group of people who live near the Monument and want to preserve its beauty, accessibility, and balanced relationship with its human neighbors, and I would urge you to take time and reflect on our great success. Coming together informally about one year ago, and more informally two months ago, giving ourselves a name, website, and mission statement, we have brought the issues facing the Grand Valley, and the possible negative impact of national park status, to the attention of thousands in Mesa County. The troubling attitude and punishing policies of National Park Service director at CNM, Lisa Eckert, have made news statewide, and our message has caught the attention in many in Utah who know how national parks can change the economic and cultural landscape of a region for decades, turning towns with mixed economies into tourist attractions with low-paying service jobs and little opportunity, while driving out industry and development because of the crushing EPA restrictions that come with national park status.

There are many who have dedicated their time, money, talent, and hearts to this cause, and it appears that Friends of the Colorado National Monument has a message which IS resonating with the public as well as our local leaders in Western Colorado.

We are conservationists. Unlike those bureaucrats in far-flung offices somewhere in Washington D.C. and Federal Buildings in capitol cities, we do not live in artificial environments. We do not view the nature around us from the point of policy makers, but as inhabitants. We don’t think of our natural resources in theoretical terms, we depend on then, and so preserve them to the best of our ability. We do not look at pretty pictures of Western Colorado and say, “that should be a national park,” we interact with the Colorado National Monument on a daily basis.

It is the backdrop to our homes. It is the haven of our solace and hope. It is the friend we call upon to help us remember what is really important in life, and what is truly permanent. It is the gateway to twilight as the sun tumbles down its  northern rim anticline, to wink out in a brilliant good night on the western desert. It is our home.

And we are its stewards. That’s why it’s simply not necessary to turn this highly protected national monument into a national park which will inevitably place unnecessary and harmful restrictions on our lives and our livelihoods. Let’s keep the balance. Let’s preserve the environment. Let’s keep the Colorado National Monument as it is.


Save Our Monument! 5/20/14

The following video comprises the full informational program presented by Friends of the Colorado National Monument at the Grand Junction City Hall on the evening of May 20, 2014.

The presenters are:

Kent Carson–Spokesman for FCNM, Kent is a retired engineer and scientist who lives near the Colorado National Monument

Karen Madsen–Bicyclist, reads letter from Charles Quimby

Darlene Gsell–Redlands property-owner

John Ferro–Business owner whose horse business was eliminated after Black Canyon of the Gunnison became a national park

Larry Moyer–Petroleum Geologist

Judy Huffaker–Bicyclist, Redlands property-owner

Richard Huffaker–Retired Physician, gentleman farmer on the Redlands

Brandon Siegfried–President of the Public Lands Access Association

Sandy Peeso–Reads the letter from Curt Robinson



For copies of this video to distribute or share with others who wish to become Friends of the Colorado National Monument, please contact us at

National Park Status is a Bad Idea: Informational Slides

False “Prestige” or the Preservation of our Rights?

Crowds amass near Zion National Parks shuttles. Zion NP is a "shuttles-only" park in Utah with roads and geology similar to CNM, but Zion is much larger in size. Nevertheless, it has been closed to private cars and bikes.

Crowds amass near Zion National Parks shuttles. Zion NP is a “shuttles-only” park in Utah with roads and geology similar to CNM, but Zion is much larger in size. Nevertheless, it has been closed to private cars and bikes.

Dear Friends of the Colorado National Monument,

It’s unfortunate that our lands and lifestyles in Western Colorado have become political ping pong balls for some who push false “prestige” and overblown economic benefits as a justification for ceding a local treasure over to federal government control and the crushing regulation of the EPA and other overreaching agencies. It IS unfortunate, but that is the arena in which we find ourselves as we try to defend what we now enjoy with reasonable ease, and that which we care for and respect; the beautiful Colorado National Monument.

Since FCNM organized just weeks ago and our website and Facebook page were launched, the proponents of national park status (loss of local control, increased regulation, harm to our ecology and economy, etc.) have rallied their forces pressuring our legislators to push through a national park with or without a consensus of the people who live within the shadow of the CNM.

Please contact Congressman Scott Tipton (R) Colorado, who represents the district in Western Colorado where the CNM is found. Please call his office (970) 241-2499 or leave a comment here

Do not wait! Politics can be messy, unfair, and deaf to the concerns of those who actually live with the consequences of political dealings. Tell Representative Scott Tipton today that WE DO NOT NEED TO FIX WHAT AIN’T BROKEN, thus jeopardizing our rights for a false sense of “prestige” and a real loss of local control. ACT NOW!


Friends of the Colorado National Monument




225 North 5th St., Suite 702

Grand Junction, CO 81501

Phone: (970) 241-2499

Fax: (970) 241-3053

Letters of Opposition to “Irreversible” National Park

“Promised Overblown, Negatives Minimized”

As someone who already has Colorado National Monument in my back yard, I want to be clear about why I’m not eager to see Rim Rock Canyons National Park there instead.

My concerns are not simply about what might happen in my back yard. I have four main objections:

1. The “locally driven public process” produced a business bill in parks clothing. When the initial process found no consensus in favor of National Park status, we soon learned that was the wrong answer. A new, so-called grassroots campaign was launched to educate us. On the heels of this effort, a new group stacked with supporters was commissioned to write a bill that seems aimed at advancing business interests and protecting the oil and gas industry—not parks and the environment.

2. National Park tourism won’t diversify the economy. Overall national park visits have flattened and are declining in many locations. Bus tours, at the fore of the increased tourism argument, have also fallen dramatically in recent years. National Park visitation is extremely sensitive to the national economy. Any jobs created to serve park visitors will be few, seasonal and low-paid. Actual amenities, not a label intended for low-information travelers, are what will attract the kind of quality development the valley should be planning for.

3. The benefits of a name change have been overblown. It is true that a “National Park” label will attract distant tourists here—in the same way that calling the Grand Junction Rockies the Colorado Rockies might fill more seats at Suplizio Field. Will those visitors find their expectations met by the nation’s fourth smallest national park? Will they recommend it to other travelers after moving on to Arches, Zion and the Grand Canyon? For most of these travelers, we will be a brief stop rather than a destination.

4. The potential impacts have been minimized. Somehow the existing roads will be able to handle more traffic, cyclists will be just as safe, overlooks will accommodate more vehicles, trails and wild areas will remain pristine, and locals—the most frequent users of the resource—will continue to have the same experiences of this treasured place. There’s no such thing as a free ride on the National Park tour. Change always has a cost.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to share the Monument with others. I’m not paranoid about the Federal Government forcing us to breathe clean air. I care about good jobs. Instead of looking for ways to exploit this treasure, however, we should be preserving and protecting the many assets that make Grand Junction a great place to live—because they also make it a great place to visit.

Charlie Quimby 

Grand Junction

“Natural values should determine park status”

National parks are the “best of the best” with their unique natural features. Denali, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier and Crater Lake are examples of our best. They are generally remote from many urban areas and large in size, and they have features that are not found elsewhere. 

If the natural features of Colorado National Monument can compare to the best, then it is worthy of designation as a national park. However, if its natural features are similar to other areas in the region, it should remain a monument. National Park Service statistics show that both the Sand Dunes and Black Canyon have decreased in annual visitors since they were designated national parks, while the monument has continued to increase during the same period.

Thus, upgrading to park status is no guarantee of greater tourism numbers translating into local economic gain. If the primary reason for changing the monument to a national park is now focused on a perceived economic gain for the area, then there is no reason that all monuments should not be upgraded to park status to benefit their local areas. But that may not be a given. Potential economic gain should not be the deciding factor.

Giving the monument national park status may not put it in the “best of the best” category in the opinion of future visitors, which may have a negative impact on the local area. Make the change if it truly meets the values that the best have to offer. Being a great monument is not all bad. 

Ron Bell

“Changing monument to park a bad idea, Opposed by many”

After reading The Daily Sentinel’s editorial of April 29, I continue to be amazed at the naivete of this paper and that small select group of supporters who want to change the Colorado National Monument to a national park.
They keep bringing out the same old arguments about increasing tourism (questionable), unchanging air quality standards (these can be rewritten any time by the EPA), traffic concerns (our bicyclists have real concerns about regulations), etc.

The paper tries to dispel locals’ fears about increasing federal controls that would result from the change. After what has been happening in Nevada and Texas, can you blame citizens for not liking the idea of more federal intrusion from such a change? It is true that parks and monuments operate under the same rules, but parks are the crown jewels and more attention is paid to them. They are currently being used by the environmental movement (through the EPA and other organizations) to control the areas that surround them, bringing undesirable and unnecessary changes to communities and people’s lives.

My friends and I have spent a lot of time getting petitions signed in the Grand Junction area, opposing the change to park status. Most of the signers are happy with the current status of the monument and feel nothing is broken, so why “fix” it?  But, we’ve heard reports from former Park Service employees, residents of Glade Park, visitors to national parks elsewhere and those living outside national park areas that tell a far different story from what our local media do. They include intimidation, over-regulation, unfriendliness, etc.

The federal government is intruding more and more into our daily lives. Our country was founded originally to limit this. Organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency have no business even existing in the USA. When will people open their eyes and see what is happening to our lives and basic freedoms? Let Udall and Tipton and The Daily Sentinel know that changing our monument to a national park is a bad idea from start to finish.

Grand Junction

“Full-throated Opposition”

I hope everyone understands the irreversible nature of the “national parks” process and will oppose the designation of the Colorado National Monument. It’s clear that the caveats in Sen. Mark Udall’s draft legislation are insufficient to protect the interests of Mesa County and businesses and residents that dwell in the shadow of the monument.

The retirees’ organization, along with the National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, among others, will lobby to strike any measure of local control from this bill. This article proves that a national park is not merely a feather in the cap of a regional tourist destination, but rather a federal enclave that affects everything around it.

Assurances from proponents that the monument will not be designated a Class I Area ring hollow as it becomes clear that the goals of the National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency and non-governmental orgnaizations such as the retirees’ organization are to create broad swaths of “pristine” public lands which are pretty to view, but where human activity is increasingly controlled and non-tourism industry is eliminated.

This legislation will not retain its current form. If introduced into the full Congress, it will be altered to fit the desires of lobbyists from powerful NGOs like the National Parks Conservation Association and other environmental groups who will demand it be designated a Class I Area.

The only way to assure that the lifestyles of residents who live near the monument (farmers, ranchers, business owners, bicyclists, families and the people of Glade Park) and energy interests and potentially thousands of jobs are not threatened by having a federal enclave in our backyard is to assert full-throated opposition to national park status.

Remember, folks: No Class I Areas or national parks have ever been reversed. This constitutes a permanent and potentially devastating change to our way of life in Western Colorado.


Grand Junction