Nation Park Designation

We have received many questions about the current prospect of Colorado National Monument obtaining national park status. In January 2013 a special member meeting was held to discuss the prospect of the monument being re-designated as a national park. At the meeting an overwhelming majority of members indicated that they are for the proposal. Subsequently, the Board of Directors of the Colorado National Monument Association decided to support crafting legislation to change the status to a national park. Letters of support have been sent to both Senator Mark Udall and Representative Scott Tipton; both have indicated they would introduce legislation if the community supports the proposal.  To email comment on the prospect of the monument becoming a national park, please send your comments to Jerry Otero, Regional Director of Senator Mark Udall’s office. His email is or mail to: Senator Mark Udall, Western Slope Office, 400 Rood Avenue, Ste. 220, Grand Junction, CO 81501; or to Congressman Scott Tipton, United States House of Representatives, 218 Cannon House Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20515-0603. You may click here for a sample letter.

Click on the following links for more information:

What is the Criteria for National Park Status?

Frequently Asked Questions

CNMA Board Chair Ginny McBride’s Op-Ed in the March 24 edition of the Grand Junction Sentinel

Please join us in sharing Colorado National Monument with the world.  Become a member of the Colorado National Monument Association.

Grand Valley Region Citizens for a National Park, a volunteer organization, is urging businesses and private individuals to support the status change; visit their new website for more information.

What’s In A Name? Click here to read an article published in Collier’s Magazine in July 1911 about the establishment of Colorado National Monument. According to Collier’s, we were originally called the Monolithic National Monument Park. This file is large and will take a while to download, but it is worth the wait.

Other Questions and Answers will be posted here as we receive them. Questions are answered either by park staff or by the best authority we can determine. You may email us questions at Our purpose is to provide an educational format.

Question Regarding a Buffer Zone: If the monument becomes a national park, will there be a buffer zone around the monument?

Answer: There currently is no buffer around the perimeter of CNM. Due to the current contiguous land ownership between BLM and private lands, there is no available land to alter existing NPS boundaries if the monument were to become a park.

Question Regarding the Size of Colorado National Monument:  Isn’t Colorado National Monument too small to become a national park?

Answer:  Colorado National Monument’s boundaries comprise 20,534 acres. Compare this to Hot Spring National Park in Arkansas with 5,549 acres or Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio with 18,440 acres. Pinnacles National Monument (80 miles outside the San Francisco Bay Area) with 26,606 acres was re-designated a national park in January this year. It’s not the size; it’s quality and significance.

Question Regarding the Entrances to the Monument: I am concerned about the entrances to Colorado National Monument becoming over-commercialized if it becomes a National Park; is there anything that can be done to keep this from happening?

Answer: Although the land outside Colorado National Monument boundaries is private, there are zoning regulations that can protect parcels; your city council or county commissioners should be contacted regarding your concerns.  In addition, Colorado National Monument is working with the Mesa Land Trust in a community dialogue to determine the feasibility of a project to preserve open space, protect viewsheds and provide safe recreational opportunities along the Monument Road Corridor. Visit for more information on public meetings and to participate in a survey.

Question Regarding Fees:  I have heard that if the monument becomes a national park, we would keep less money from our fees because if visitation goes over $500,000 in collected fees, we would keep less of that revenue. Is this true?

Answer: Parks and monuments that collect less than $500,000 annually in fee revenue get to keep 100% of that revenue for use in projects. Parks and monuments that collect over $500,000 keep 80% of the revenue, and the other 20% goes to parks that don’t collect fees. Colorado National Monument already collects over $500,000 per year, which means we are on track to become an 80% park in the near future. From a purely financial perspective, the increase in potential income from National Park status would help to offset a decrease that we are already preparing for.

Question Regarding Visitation Numbers: I am curious as to the number of visitors to the monument; can you provide some history?

Answer: Below are some selected recent years and figures from 1999; Click Here to download these statistics.

2012 17,992 16,193 34,473 38,405 65,842 51,269 52,329 54,012 46,118 38,842 23,710 15,325 454,510
2011 15,326 15,136 29,817 34,415 52,303 53,676 47,903 43,174 49,338 38,254 25,270 30,848 435,460
2005 15,104 18,659 17,204 32,836 44,700 45,818 29,621 37,496 37,839 29,776 24,801 13,282 347,136
1999 13,930 15,945 20,630 22,878 34,380 31,499 20,636 31,884 43,138 36,680 19,955 5,558 299,112