President Obama Names new National Monument in Colorado, Affirming Tribal Descendants’ Cultures

Today, President Obama designated spectacular Chimney Rock in southwest Colorado as our nation’s newest national monument, an historic step honoring a place rich in beauty, history and Native American culture.

With the strong support of the people of Colorado, from the congressional delegation to Governor Hickenlooper to the Native American community and local residents, President Obama has ensured this extraordinary national treasure will be protected for generations to come.

A thousand years ago, Chimney Rock was home to Ancestral Pueblo People who built more than 200 homes and ceremonial buildings high above the valley floor. Many of the structures remain today, and are designed to perfectly align with lunar events such as seasonal solstices and equinoxes, drawing visitors from across the world.

Beyond protecting this special place, this designation also ensures Chimney Rock will be a source of economic opportunity in Colorado, attracting new business and tourism. According to a study commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the national monument designation is expected to double economic activity from tourism in the area over the next five years. Outdoor places like Chimney Rock provide us with opportunities for rest and respite, with a link to our Nation’s proud outdoor traditions and culture, and with jobs and economic opportunities across the country. In fact, outdoor recreation alone contributes an estimated $650 billion a year to our economy, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

Chimney Rock builds on the President’s strong record of supporting local conservation priorities through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Under President Obama, we’ve marked the most extensive expansion of land and water conservation in a generation through the National Public Lands Act; enrolled hundreds of millions of acres of private land in voluntary conservation programs; helped open up more than 2 million acres for hunting, fishing and other recreation on private lands; and made critical progress restoring iconic ecosystems across the country.

Yesterday, I had a chance to meet with a group of Colorado Latino youth who traveled to Washington D.C. to speak with Administration officials about the importance of conservation. Their stories of experiencing America’s great outdoors, and the economic and environmental opportunities the great outdoors provide, were an inspiration to me and my colleagues. These young people -- our nation’s future engineers, business leaders, ranchers and public servants – understood the power of protecting our national treasures for future generations, and were thrilled to learn the President has declared America’s newest national monument in their home state.

When President Obama made Chimney Rock our nation’s 103rd national monument this morning, he followed a tradition begun by President Teddy Roosevelt nearly a century ago of protecting our greatest natural assets. Today, we can celebrate that a century from now, the unique landscape of Chimney Rock will continue to be cherished and enjoyed by generations of Americans.

Chimney Rock, designated a national monument on Sept. 21, 2012, was home to the Ancestral Pueblo People about 1,000 years ago and is culturally significant for Native American tribes. The dramatic Great House Pueblo was likely was used as an observatory for the annual summer solstice.

Responses to "Chimney Rock Becomes Newest National Monument "

  1. Anonymous says:

    where is chimney rock? what city in colorado is it in?

  2. Wonderful news! I visited this area many times growing up in CO.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It's between Pagosa Springs and Durango just off of Highway 160 - so gorgeous!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is beautiful to see

  5. Anonymous says:

    Indians: Chimney Rock. Gays: agrees on marriage between 2 degenerates. Women: right to murder their unborn child. One out of three sounds like a jerk to me. Yeah for the Native Americans! Nay for the dispecable other two.He is pulling out all the stops to get votes! He could return the Black Hills to Our Native Americans or give California back to the Mexicans! That would seal the deal!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I totaly agree with the previous comment. If would give CA. back to the Mexicans and the Black Hill to our Native American he would seal the deal. Then he would have all the votes from the gays, mexicans, Indian's, women who want the coice to abort or not. Yeah we all know he is going to win the presidency and when he does and takes our country down the tube you will have no one to blame but yourself. Cause there will be nothing left of our country. He has no time for us poor folk and don't think he does. He will have time to come courting for your vote and once he ges that he will tax you for not buying health insurance and the IRS will come after you for that!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is already a chimney rock monument in nebraska!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don't be fooled by his deception. He has a plan for all of us and it won't be good. Please use common sense when you vote because if he is reelected, our wonderful country will continue to go down the toilet. These last minute attempts to win votes should be ignored because that's all they are for. He is trying to butter us up. It won't work for me because he has proven time and time again that he does not tell the truth. Not to mention but why have a president that will not salute or wear our country's flag... One who mocks God when this country was founded on God... he promised jobs, where are they???? The price of everything keeps going up.... poor people can hardly live now, he just makes it harder every day... I say all the government officials should get minimum wage and I bet things would change fast.

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