Obama creates new national monument in Colorado

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm •  Published: September 19, 2012
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DENVER (AP) — President Barack Obama's administration will create a national monument at a dramatic rock formation in southwestern Colorado on a site that was home to the ancestors of modern Pueblo Indians 1,000 years ago, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The move to preserve 4,726 acres of high desert at Chimney Rock, which holds spiritual significance for some tribes, will be announced Friday. The Denver Post first reported the decision, which was confirmed by Senator Michael Bennet's office.

The monument will be the third created by the Obama administration.

The Republican congressman who represents the area, Scott Tipton, sponsored a bill urging the designation that passed the House of Representatives in May. Bennet proposed a similar bill that never made it through the Senate following partisan squabbling.

"Making Chimney Rock a national monument will be an extraordinary boost for the region by preserving and protecting the site and driving tourism, which would draw more visitors and bring more dollars into the local, regional and state economies," Bennet said in a statement.

The 1906 Antiquities Act gives the president the power to designate certain historic federal properties as national monuments, to be preserved in perpetuity.

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