Group to draft legislation changing monument to park

A committee of five Grand Valley residents has been formed to help draft legislation that would redesignate the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction as a national park.

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, announced the creation of the committee following more than a year of research and discussion by a working group into the possible change.

The committee will include: Michael Burke, chairman of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce; Warren Gore, a Glade Park rancher who was chairman of the working group; Jamie Lummis, a member of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and USA Pro Cycling Challenge organizing committee; Ginny McBride, chairwoman of the Colorado National Monument Association board of directors; and Kristi Pollard, director of development at Colorado Mesa University.

The committee is expected to meet periodically over the next several months, working with Udall and Tipton to help draft legislation that responds to local concerns while changing the monument to a park. A period allowing public comment on the legislation will follow.

“With respect for the role the monument plays in the community, Sen. Udall and I are pleased to announce the formation of a committee, and with it, the next step toward achieving the best possible outcome for the monument and people of Mesa County,” Tipton said.