The Chimney Rock National Monument bill (S. 3303) was one of many bills heard by the Senate Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on National Parks on May 19th. S. 3303 and its companion bill, H.R. 5223), were introduced jointly in the House and Senate last week by and Sen. Michael Bennet (DCO) and Rep. John Salazar (D-CO), respectively, that would establish the Chimney Rock National Monument in Southwestern Colorado, which contains nationally-significant archeological, geologic, biological, cultural, educational, recreational, visual, and scenic value. The Chimney Rock area includes a 1,000-year-old Ancestral Puebloan community located beneath the prominent Chimney Rock Pinnacles, which provide dramatic 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape and provide an outstanding opportunity to enhance understanding and appreciation of the prehistory of North America and the accomplishments of Native American cultures during that period.
The National Trust has submitted testimony for the record in support of the creation of the Chimney Rock National Monument under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service. In addition, Joel Holtrop, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, testified in support of the bill, but with modifications. Holtrop indicated that the agency would like to see changes directing the Forest Service to appoint a manager that would be accountable for what happens at the monument. Holtrop also objected to a provision in the bill to build a visitor’s center at the site. To read Holtrop’s testimony, please visit http://energy.senate.gov/public/_files/HoltroponS3303051910.pdf.
Civil Rights Trail Bill (S. 1802/H.R. 685):
The Subcommittee also heard testimony on a bill (S. 1802) sponsored by Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) that would establish a National Civil Rights Trail and would authorize a National Park Service special resource study investigating the feasibility of establishing the Trail commemorating the Civil Rights Movement .
Excerpts from a letter of support from National Trust President Richard Moe for the bill were read by Senator Burris' as part of his oral testimony. Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) also testified passionately in support of the bill and very favorable remarks about the bill were put forth by the subcommittee chairman, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), all of which are included in the following links: http://energy.senate.gov/public/_files/SenBurrisonS1802051910.pdf
The National Park Service also testified in full support of the identical House and Senate bills (S. 1802/H.R. 685). The NPS cited an existing study that has already identified leading civil rights sites that exist in almost every state.