Chimney Rock appears close to monument designation
Written byJOE HANEL, Durango Herald/Greenwire
President Obama will declare Colorado's Chimney Rock Archaeological Area a national monument, sources told The Durango Herald.
Obama's use of executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act allows him to bypass Congress, where a bill designating the site as a national monument has stalled in the Senate.
"Coloradoans have made a great case for national monument status, which will be an extraordinary boost for the region and the state," said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo), who has sponsored one of the bills and who urged Obama to use his executive authority earlier this month (E&E Daily, July 12).
The Forest Service currently manages Chimney Rock with help from volunteers.
Sources expect Obama to announce the designation in the coming weeks. He will be campaigning in Colorado next week, although campaign aides say they have been unable to schedule a stop in Durango.