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Protect the Dolores – the other side

NATURITA, Colo. (KREX) — Residents in the small city of Naturita gave Sen. John Hickenlooper an earful of considerations towards the Dolores National Monument proposal.

Now, let’s hand the mic to proponents.

Colorado Wildlands Project Director Scott Braden tells Western Slope Now Protect the Dolores, a coalition of conservation, group, and enterprise teams began pushing for monument standing two years in the past, although efforts to guard the canyons stretch again to the late 60s.

Braden tells Western Slope Now Protect the Dolores met with the Forest Service, ranchers and group leaders and despatched out petitions – amassing 103,000 signatures. The objective? To persuade President Biden to log off on designating Dolores Canyon a nationwide monument.

Home to the Dolores River and historical fish like humpback chubs, flannel mouth and bluehead suckers, you’ll discover Ute and ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs and archeological websites, bighorn sheep, dinosaur fossils and unforgettable views. Still, there are misconceptions.

Former Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout tells Western Slope Now in contrast to Colorado National Monument – run by the National Park Service – the Forest Service and BLM would handle the proposed monument precisely as they do now, with no entry payment or harsh restrictions.

Braden and Stout say looking and cattle grazing would stay unaffected.

But Sean Pond, who created the halt the Dolores petition says whereas the coalition will grandfather in all present mines, some worry a hidden agenda. Braden and Stout say 90 % of all mines are excluded from the proposed borders.

EcoFlight Executive Director Jane Pargiter says with social media these days, all hidden gems, like Dolores Canyon, will probably be uncovered quickly, so it’s greatest to set some guidelines earlier than tourism takes off.

The coalition believes it may even enhance economically struggling small cities, like Naturita.

Stout says native opinions matter, however all Coloradans and Americans have a voice on public lands.

While the effort is gaining traction, as Braden tells Western Slope Now, it’s too early to contemplate facilities. In the meantime, the destiny of those canyons hangs in the steadiness whereas these on either side wrestle to seek out frequent floor.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WesternSlopeNow.com.

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