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FC 912 news bytes: Oppose The Dolores National Monument


Photo by LKY: Rafting the Dolores River 2023

By Dexter Gill


The Dolores National Monument is getting National attention.  As mentioned previously, there are several proposals in several States.  Thanks to the people in the  Gateway area, who have stood up, it may be possible to stop it. we have put together a summary overview, and list of contacts YOU,  ALL OF US!  can make to hopefully get it stopped.  The real problem is that the President can simply declare it to happen.  There is a Bill in Congress to require the Presidential declaration MUST be approved by Congress.  That is already taking flack, so we all need to Call, write etc..  Here is the overview and contacts list.

                                             STOP THE RUNAWAY TRAIN!

What is the most common word used today in the controversy over land use?  Today there is a battle over establishing a National Monument along the Dolores River Canyon.  A “single use” cabal of recreation river boaters are advocating for establishing a National Monument on mostly Bureau of Land Management, territorial “public lands”. The territorial lands were designated to be the new State of Colorado in 1876 via the Statehood compact.  The lands were to be disposed of, sold off to the people.

In 1976, just 100 years later, the feds changed their minds and stated the lands would no longer be sold, the feds would just keep them, by establishing the Federal Lands Policy Management Act (FLPMA), in it simply stating in Sec. 102 (43 U.S.C. 1701) “The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States that- (1) the public lands be retained in Federal Ownership—“.  What happened to the State Compact/Contract? In the new FLPMA, The lands were to be in planned “multiple use” and “management” of resources, such as water, forage, mining, timbering, wildlife etc. all for the benefit of the land and people.

Today, outside interests seek to end “multiple use management” of resources by creating an expensive government run, non-productive single purpose use National Monument. The justification word used is, “CONSERVATION” of the canyon.  How is that defined?  Webster says it is, “planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction or neglect/waste”, or “Wise Use”.  Conservation IS Management, and Management IS Conservation! The proposals are exploitation of the laws and resources. Recreation and Tourism are NOT Resources, they are non-productive Uses benefitting from productive conservation management.  The Canyon is not “A” resource, it is a composite of many resources.

In 1906 as western states were just beginning to form, the Antiquities Protection Act was passed to protect certain small areas of mostly ancient historical interest, etc. from settlement.  In the subsequent 70 years of use, the Act served it’s purpose and the Federal Lands Policy Management Act of 1976, took over to actually enable people of the new States to Plan for management and use of the Lands and Resources.  The push by outside single interest cabals, are using the past antiquated Antiquities Act to negate more recent Acts for Stewardship management of all the natural resources of lands within the western States that our Creator has entrusted us with, is an attack on the future economy.   That must be stopped immediately, to allow management planning to proceed by local people on the land.  

Much to be done to stop the train!  One immediate action is support  Congressional Bill H.R. 5499, author Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks (Iowa), the short Bill simply Amends 1906 Antiquities Act to require Congressional Approval of any Presidential declaration to establish a National Monument.   Contact Rep. Meeks  at 1034 Longworth House Office Bldg. Washington D.c. 20515 , or search her website where you can e-mail from or phone 202-25-6576.    Next is Rep. Bruce Westerman, chair of Nat. Resources Committee 202-Cannon House Office Bldg. Washington, D.c. 20515 or his website to send e-mail or phone 202-225-3772.   Both have already been lobbied to drop and kill the bill.  Next we need to contact ALL our Congressional Reps, this is NOT a partisan political issue, it is the economic future of the state and Stewardship management of the Lands of the State.  Contacts  Reps. Doug Lamborn , lamborn.house.gov; Brittany Petterson, pettersen.house.gov; Diana Degette, degette.house.gov; Joe Neguse, neguse.house.gov; Lauren Boebert, boebert.house.gov; Jason Crow, crow.house.gov; Yadina /caraveo, caraveo.house.gov;  Michael Bennet, bennet.senate.gov; John Hickenlooper, hickenlooper.senate.gov. A  point to give is the establishment of the Monuments is multi-State with multi State Concerns, it has nothing to do with real Conservation and is serious threat to future resource management, economy, energy and security of the Nation.

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Thank you for recognizing the issue and getting it out there! And thank you for the detailed information to contact our elected officials. Guess what I am doing today…thanks to you.

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