Letter: Bishop attacking public land … again
In the closing days of 2017 in our nations capital, Rep. Rob Bishop (Utah) introduced H.R. 3990 National Monument Creation and Protection Act. This bill wishes to amend parts of the Antiquities Act of 1906 (Theodore Roosevelt).
Mr. Bishop wishes to strike, “Historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” and insert “object or objects of Antiquity”. He further introduces in this bill, the right of the president to reduce the size of national monuments by 85,000 acres or less (unobstructed) and if reduced by over 85,000 acres then county, state and the governor of the state where the monument resides must approve it as well as a review by NEPA.”
There are 129 national monuments in the United States. Colorado has the following national monuments: Browns Canyon near Buena Vista; Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction; Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients near Cortez; Dinosaur near Dinosaur; Florissant Fossil Beds near Colorado Springs; Chimney Rock near Pagosa Springs; and Yucca House near Towaoc.
It is estimated that in 2016, 82.4 million visitors came to Colorado to take advantage of our innumerable outdoor activities. These individuals, plus Colorado residents, generated $28 billion in consumer spending, contributed $9.7 billion in wages and more than $2 billion in taxes while creating for Colorado in excess of 229,000 jobs.
Recently the Outdoor Recreation Industry moved its trade show after 20 years from Utah to Denver. ORI’s primary belief was that Utah and its political base did not value public land and its economic value as much as other Western states. This move to Colorado is estimated to generate in excess of $110 million to Colorado.
Outdoor recreation in Colorado is a growing sustainable economic engine. If any change occurs to our public land and water access, Colorado hikers, bikers, hunters, boaters and birders have a right to have our voices heard.
As an outdoorsman, please join me and ask our states representatives to hear our voices.