Chimney Rock to get monument label

Img ?1512216803

CLOSE TO HOME: RESPONDING TO SEXUAL ASSAULT IN OUR COMMUNITY

News

Chimney Rock to get monument label

Obama declaration would bypass Congress, raise profile of ancient site
Sources have told The Durango Herald that President Barack Obama plans to grant Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, near Pagosa Springs, national monument status.
Tipton backs declaration, opposes power to make it

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, will get what he wants if the president declares a national monument at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.
Then again, he won’t.
Tipton sponsored and passed a bill through the House to establish a national monument. But he also backs a bill that would take away President Barack Obama’s authority to declare national monuments – the very authority Obama will rely on to give the designation to Chimney Rock.
Obama’s staff did not notify or consult Tipton, said Tipton’s spokesman, Josh Green.
Green said Tipton is happy, though, that Chimney Rock will be upgraded to a monument.
Still, Tipton would prefer to see Congress pass his bill. He blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“Given that we were able to pass it through with the full support of every member of Colorado’s delegation to the House of Representatives, I think it would behoove the president to pick up the phone and call Harry Reid and say, ‘Why don’t you go ahead and schedule this vote?’” Tipton said Saturday in an interview.
However, public-land bills have not even made it to Reid’s desk in a long time. They have been bottled up in the Natural Resources Committee thanks to a spat between the panel’s two senior members.
Tipton is one of 12 co-sponsors of House Resolution 817, which makes the president’s power to declare national monuments under the Antiquities Act subject to approval by Congress.
However, Tipton also joined Colorado’s two Democratic senators in writing a letter to Obama, urging him to consider using his power to declare a monument at Chimney Rock. The letter called for Obama to adhere to Tipton’s House Bill, which specifies that the Forest Service will get no new money to manage Chimney Rock. It’s not clear whether the president plans to include funding in his declaration.
Tipton’s main opponent, Democrat Sal Pace, said if it was left to Tipton, the national monument never would have happened.
“If the administration designates Chimney Rock a National Monument, it’s despite the roadblocks Congressman Tipton has put in the way,” Pace said in an email. “Tipton has impeded the process by voting to strip the administration of the very authority that our senators have asked to be used, and attaching a poison pill to the legislation he sponsored in the House that would cut off funding to make Chimney Rock a National Monument.”
Green said Tipton’s bill is the responsible way to go, given the country’s deficits.
“It forces the Forest Service to work within their existing budget,” Green said.
jhanel@durangoherald.com

Chimney Rock to get monument label

purchase
Sources have told The Durango Herald that President Barack Obama plans to grant Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, near Pagosa Springs, national monument status.
Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Durango ~ Events
click here to add your event
Durango ~ Events