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Forest Service to hold informational meeting on National Monument designation

The San Juan National Forest invites members of the public to attend an informational meeting to learn about the proposal for National Monument designation of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

The meeting will take place 1-3:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Archuleta Fairgrounds, 344 U.S. 84.

Over the past two years, bills proposing National Monument status for Chimney Rock have been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Scott Tipton. Legislative proposals have received overwhelmingly positive bipartisan support at the local, state and national levels, including Archuleta County commissioners and Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Estimates are that National Monument status would benefit the local economy by encouraging more visitation to Chimney Rock. The 3,160-acre Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, receives 12,000 visitors a year. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) with help from the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association under Special Use Permit. Proposals for National Monument designation have identified continued management by the USFS for its superior cultural, geological, biological, research and economic benefits.

For more information about the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, visit http://www.chimneyrockco.org/mainnew.htm.

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