Sierra Club Applauds Designation of Chimney Rock National Monument

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 21, 2012.  President Obama today announced the designation of the new Chimney Rock National Monument. Chimney Rock has been a spiritually, ecologically, and culturally significant site for more than 1,000 years and remains of great importance to modern Pueblo Indians.

“We commend President Obama for using his authority to protect this important piece of America. National monument designation honors and benefits this important cultural site, the local economy and regional tribes,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

Each year about 9,000 people visit Chimney Rock and that number is expected to grow as today’s national monument designation increases heritage tourism in the region. The designation will also ensure for the first time that the houses, ceremonial sites and other Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites that cover the area have clear protections. Until today, Chimney Rock lacked any protective designation to provide permanent support for and protection of its sites and resources.

“We are pleased that President Obama has recognized and protected these nationally-significant lands in Colorado,” said Alan Apt of the Sierra Club’s Rocky Mountain Chapter in Colorado. “The decision reflects broad support here for protecting Chimney Rock and other public lands as part of the outdoor heritage that is so important to our economy and our quality of life.”

Like many states, outdoor recreation is an important part of Colorado’s culture and economy, generating $10 billion annually for the state economy and supporting more than 100,000 jobs.

“Protecting public lands is good for communities, good for business and good for nature. We hope that President Obama will continue to secure these benefits for other natural wonders that are worthy of national monument status and still in need of protection,” said Brune.