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Organizations Want Veto Power Over National Park Service At Colorado National Monument


There's a story in western Colorado involving Colorado National Monument that bears watching. The gist of the story is that some local community organizations are in support of redesignating the monument as a national park, but only if they can veto Park Service decisions on what uses the monument is appropriate for.

Onlookers believe that this ties in to past efforts to have a professional bike race -- the 2013 USA Pro Challenge -- course through the national monument along the 23-mile-long Rim Rock Drive. In the past, officials all the way up to the director of the National Park Service have said that would be an inappropriate use of the national monument.

Now, earlier this spring the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association passed a resolution in support of renaming the monument a national park. That resolution was similar to one adopted earlier by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as one passed by the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. The kicker is that the groups want the legislation to give community stakeholders veto power over any Park Service decisions on uses the agency finds are inappropriate for the monument...such as a professional bike race.

Whether legislation will be introduced into Congress this summer by either U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton or U.S. Sen. Mark Udall to redesignate the monument as a national park remains to be seen.

Park advocacy groups, though, are keeping an eye on this issue and are stressing that the Park Service's hands should not be tied when it comes to what is appropriate for Colorado National Monument.

At the National Parks Conservation Association, officials have said it is good for the Park Service to meet with local stakeholders to discuss the future of Colorado National Monument. But David Nimkin, senior director for NPCA's Southwest regional office, has made it clear that NPCA strongly opposes a professional bike race through the monument.

Simply put, he says, the commercialization of the national monument is out of bounds.

Also watching the issue is the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, which also opposes a professional bike race in the monument. While that group believes it is doubtful that Sen. Udall would offer legislation that would provide local stakeholders veto power over the Park Service, the Coalition nevertheless has notified him of its position on the matter. If the senator or any other congressional representative offers legislation to rename the monument as a national park for the significant natural resources and history of Colorado National Monument, the coalition will offer its official position on the matter at that time.



You are absolutely right about the park being good neighbours. I was being a bit facetious.
From my experience the good neighbor argument is often applied to pressure the local National Park to deviate from EL, The Organic Act, ESA, Park Management Policy or some interpretation of CFR 36. Often the park's locals neighbours are concerned about a specific special interest and the clientele that are interested in that activity and the money it will produce locally.

Folks -

Reasonable comments by MM and ec , but the discussion has wandered way off track from the original subject of this story (special events in parks) and the purpose the Traveler. I share part of the blame for that with a previous comment, but let's try to limit future posts on this thread to subject-relative items.

Kurt's tied up with a project for a couple of days, and I volunteered to help moderate comments during hours he's not on-line. I'd appreciate your help :-)


Any employer that denies employment for anything other than behavior that may effect job performance ( and I would say in most cases the scam of medical marijuana would qualify) is only hurting himself. An employer certainly has the right to do so (as long as its not a protected class) but not many do.

[size= 14px; line-height: 18px]"Would you question a potential employee how he is going to spend his wages before you hired him?"[/size]

For all intents and puposes, doesn't this happen when people are denied employment because of off- the-job activities/behavior/lifestyle? (ex. smoking, people who legally smoke medical marijuana, etc.)



You asked a rather philosophical question: "Is money really that evil a thing?" and I was simply replying in kind when I responded, "No, with the caveat it depends on how it's obtained or used ... and that clearly is a value judgement :-)"

I didn't interpret your question as having anything to do with "meeting the mission of parks," and neither did my response. Sorry if my answer took us off course and into the swamp of economic ethics :-)

It all depends upon howthe money is obtained and used.

And why is that? I thought the goal here was to meet the mission of the Parks. What difference does it make if someone makes money? Even more baffling - what difference does it make how the money is being used? Would you question a potential employee how he is going to spend his wages before you hired him?

Does ecbuck understand the difference between "Grand Canyon" and "Grand Canyon National Park

Yes - Scott - I do understand. I raised the question, it was pointed out this wan't in the park and I am satisfied with that.

Does ecbuck understand the difference between "Grand Canyon" and "Grand Canyon National Park"? He's pretty good with numbers, but maybe he needs some guidance in this regard. I do understand that such designations can be confusing. Much more difficult to comprehend than say...oh I don't know...climate science for example.

Can someone define "local"? It would be helpful to me to know exactly what that means. And by "exactly" I mean it should be as precisely defined as "wilderness".

Yup, beach, and Buxton has explained exactly why it's necessary.

As for the question of evil money, Jim's comment is spot on. It all depends upon howthe money is obtained and used. When the money from a large corporation or powerful special interest is used to pad the pockets of lawmakers in return for special legislation that will benefit them, then I submit that is one form of evil money at work.

As for Evil Kenivil and his leap across the "Grand Canyon" at Marble Canyon, the park service invoked a long standing policy that limits commercial uses of parks and generally limits uses to non-commercial activities. They called Evil's bluff when he tried to claim that his jump was non-commercial and purely for sport. When the vision of dollars faded from his eyes, so did the idea of leaping the canyon.

Since one important "impact" of NPS areas on local communities is to bring a whole lot of money in to the coffers of local businesses, why would those local businesses want to bite the hand that is feeding it? (Unless, of course, their particular scheme would profit by an activity that might harm the very thing that attracts visitors and their dollars.) It's absolutely foolish of businesses to seek approval for something that could damage the resource that brings the dollars. Unless, of course, they are among that growing number of Americans who have become afflicted with Entitlement Syndrome and expect everyone to set aside any long term benefits so they may extract as many short term profits as possible before they bail out and leave the rest of us holding the bag. Shouldn't locals be "good neighbors" too?

The new American version of socialism: Socialize the expenses; Privatize the profits.

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