Colorado lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday that would turn the Colorado National Monument into the nation's 60th national park.
The proposal, co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo) and Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo), would upgrade the monument to park status and re-christen it Rim Rock Canyons National Park. Existing boundaries, regulations, and usage rights would remain the same.
The Denver Post reports that the bill is likely to meet at least some opposition. "I think Colorado loses out if the name 'Colorado' is left out," former Monument superintendent Joan Anzelmo told the paper. Others in the western half of the state have argued that a status change is unnecessary and frivolous since the land is already under federal protection.
The Colorado National Monument covers more than 20,000 canyon-lined acres outside the city of Grand Junction. The public will have 90 days to comment on the proposed changes before the bill moves to committee.