Gov. Hickenlooper’s statement on President Trump’s executive order on national monuments
DENVER — Thursday, April 27, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today released the following statement:
President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday, April 26, that instructs the Secretary of Interior to review the designation of at least two dozen national monuments, including Colorado’s Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. The order also authorizes the Secretary to review any other monument designated after 1996 at his discretion.
Canyons of the Ancients was created in 2000 by President Clinton. It covers more than 175,000 acres in the Four Corners Region of southwest Colorado. Canyons of the Ancients attracts 30,000 visitors per year to a rural area of Colorado and contains the highest known archaeological site density in the United States, with rich, well-preserved evidence of native cultures.
Colorado’s 12 national parks and monuments, including Canyon of the Ancients, are treasures and major tourism draws to the state. According to Longwoods International, in 2015, the most popular activities for Colorado leisure visitors on their trip included visiting a national or state park (23 percent) and visiting a famous landmark or historic site (21 percent). Tourism drives 1 in 9 jobs in Colorado.
“Governors Matt Mead, Brian Sandoval and I met with Secretary Zinke yesterday in Washington, DC. As a result of our long conversation, I have been reassured that it is unlikely any of Colorado’s monuments will be reviewed. Our meeting as a whole was very positive, and the Secretary committed to working with governors as equal partners.
Public lands protection is a key driver of our outdoor recreation industry, which generates more than $34 billion in consumer spending and over 350,000 Colorado jobs. More than that, our public lands are a fundamental part of our identity as Coloradans and as Americans. Based on my conversation with Secretary Zinke, I am confident that the federal administration will work with the State of Colorado and our federal delegation to ensure our national monuments remain protected.”