Letter: Change the name of the Colorado National Monument
NPS would be doing everyone a favor just by changing the name of the Colorado National Monument to Colorado Canyons or Red Rock Canyons and for once have an honest description of the park. Should our community leaders and federal officials take the next step and change the park designation, I hope they consider what an opportunity they have to do something really special.
I’m speaking of the creation of a national park that could stand with some of the best. To do this will require a plan that grows the park over time into three distinct districts each with their own unique character — McInnis Canyons will contribute the arches, and the Ruby-Horsethief Canyon of the Colorado River will bring an iconic river into the mix. The Colorado River is no stranger to national parks and this would just add another to its path.
A complete overhaul of the camping spectrum should be addressed with more options spread across the new boundaries. Modern tourists want modern facilities, but done in a way that makes them feel as if they are in a rustic, special and wondrous place. We have architects here in our city that know what I mean and know how to do it.
A new park will attract tens of thousands of new visitors. I welcome them! But lets spread them out so we don’t just create a “Red Rock” traffic jam. There should be some new, improved two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive dirt roads with access to new scenic areas. It would be progressive to consider CNG powered open-air vehicles and small buses to move our new guests safely up the existing Rim Rock Drive to take in the scenic wonders without burdening this rather small road with too many cars.
I’m sure a lot of folks navigating large RVs would welcome the chance to let someone else drive this road! Bicycles should be encouraged as always, and we can do all this and still honor the historic access to Glade Park, as we should.
This is a big deal and we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace it; let’s just do it right. At the very least change the name. It’s time.
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