Colorado National Monument Superintendent’s Decision to Limit Access For Private Event Avoids Dangerous Precedent, Keeps Park Open for All Visitors

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   March 22, 2011
Contact:   David Nimkin, NPCA Southwest Regional Director 801.521.0785


Colorado National Monument Superintendent’s Decision to Limit Access For Private Event Avoids Dangerous Precedent, Keeps Park Open for All Visitors

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The following statement by NPCA Southwest Regional Director David Nimkin is in response to and in support of Colorado National Monument Superintendent Joan Anzelmo’s decision, last night affirmed by NPS Intermountain Regional Director, John Wessels representing the National Park Service, to prevent the temporary closure of the park for the commercial Quiznos Pro Challenge event. Anzelmo’s original decision aligns with the established policy set forth in the 2006 National Park Service Management Policies and Code of Federal Regulations for national parks sites through the National Park System. 

“We applaud the National Park Service in affirming what we believe are fundamental standards for preserving the integrity of our park system with this decision.  Allowing the bike race to take place at Colorado National Monument as originally planned would have cut off the major transportation stem that goes through the park, closing the park for up to six hours and restricting visitor access to our national treasure. It is the responsibility of our National Park Service leaders to protect these places from actions that are commercial in nature and not intrinsic to the operations of the park.

“Senator Mark Udall and Governor Hickenlooper have tried to establish a compromise solution with local race organizers who have been unwilling to consider reasonable alternative proposals that protect the integrity of the park. We are hopeful that the beauty and richness of Western Colorado as a backdrop to this race and the potential economic benefits represented in the bike race proposal can be realized,  but not at the expense of Colorado National Monument.

“We applaud the decision of Superintendent Joan Anzelmo and the National Park Service. Holding a commercial event at Colorado National Monument would have set a dangerous precedent. We must draw the line at commercializing our national parks to ensure they remain protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.” 

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