Senator Bennet visits proposed Dolores Canyons National Monument

Jun 10, 2024

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado visited the proposed Dolores Canyons National Monument in southwest Colorado over the weekend. The senator met with stakeholders, Tribes, and the general public, and participated in other activities to learn more about the region, which is the largest and most biodiverse stretch of unprotected public land in Colorado.

Bennet heard from monument proponents and opponents at a public hearing on Sunday afternoon in Nucla, Colorado. After approximately two hours of public comment, Bennet addressed the crowd, saying, “I would never support a national monument that affects grazing rights… I would never support one that affects people’s water.” The proposed monument would protect historic uses of public lands and water, including: rights-of-way and utility infrastructure, valid mining claims, oil and gas leases, commercial outfitting or guiding, and livestock grazing. It also would not affect water rights. 

Later, Bennet signaled his support for some form of landscape protection, saying, “In this beautiful gym tonight, what I was thinking about was the people that might here 30 years from now, and 50 years from now, and 100 years from now, and 150 years from now, what it would be like if we could find a way to do our job together, to try to establish a vision for what this all ought to look like in the future, that’s a vision that can actually be shared… I certainly, as somebody who’s worried about this place looking like Moab, I’m worried that if we don’t do anything about it, that we run a big risk that that’s the way it’s going to look. So, I think we should continue to have the conversation that we’re having.”

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Quote of the day

The Dolores River canyon country must be preserved… Not only is this vibrant area crucial to many animal and plant species, it’s a special place that offers unforgettable recreational opportunities and preserves cultural heritage.”

Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center Advocate Henry Stiles

Picture This

grand canyon @nationalparkservice
“I’m old. I’m supposed to be colorful.” -Sophia Petrillo

Grand. Just grand. Picture it: the Grand Canyon; your last vacation. You marvel at its vastness, age, and geologic wonders, but you also notice the variety of colors in the walls. Beautiful! But why so colorful? The canyon is not one to blow its own vertubenflugen, but we are.

The Grand Canyon shows off its colorful hues via the different types of rock layers formed over millions of years (and a couple of St. Olaf stories). These layers contain a variety of minerals that produce the hues. The red, orange, and yellow hues come from iron oxide deposits, while the purple and blue shades come from manganese oxide. The layers (like a cake) have also been exposed by weathering and erosion, creating the stunning colors seen today.

Thank you for being a friend and reading to the end. Tell us! Have you been to the Grand Canyon?


Featured image: Dolores River below Skein Mess; Source: Colorado Wildlands Projec