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Chimney Rock Becomes National Monument

Senator Michael Bennet's Office

President Barack Obama has signed a proclamation creating a national monument at Chimney Rock. The dramatic rock formation in southwestern Colorado is on a site that was home to the ancestors of modern Pueblo Indians a thousand years ago.

It’s also the site of a spectacular moonrise between the twin rock spires every 18 and a half years.

Al White, director of the Colorado Department of Tourism, told Colorado News Connection that this new designation is good news for the state.

“Anything that’s going to help raise the profile of Colorado is going help bring more tourists. And tourists spend money.”

The proclamation signed Friday preserves nearly 5,000 acres of high desert at Chimney Rock, which holds spiritual significance for some tribes. It bars sale or lease of land by current property owners while protecting existing property rights.

President Obama called the monument a national treasure with deep cultural and educational value.  The move has bipartisan support and comes as Obama is locked in a tight race with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the swing state.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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