Skip to main content

Colorado's Chimney Rock is a spectacular rock formation and archaeological site that thousands have fought to protect over the years. Today, we received the great news that this special place has received permanent protection as a National Monument.

Arguably the most important cultural site on our nation's national forests, Chimney Rock has been a spiritually, ecologically, and culturally significant site for more than 1,000 years and remains of great importance to modern Pueblo Indians.

Chimney Rock and Companion Rock
Photo by elizh83 on Flickr.

"Chimney Rock itself is one of two striking sandstone spires protruding from atop a majestic butte, 1000 feet above the Piedra River valley, where the ancestors of today's Hopi, Zuni, and other regional tribes raised their crops 1000 years ago," said Lauren Swain, a Resilient Habitats activist with the Sierra Club.

"Each year, over 9000 visitors tour the elaborate complex of dwellings, which were home to over 2000 people from 850 - 1125 A.D."

Also amazing about Chimney Rock? From the Chacoan tribe's Great Pueblo, the full moon can be viewed rising up between the twin rock spires every 18.6 years -- called the Major Lunar Standstill.

Today's designation will ensure for the first time that the houses, ceremonial sites and other Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites that cover the area have clear protections. Until today, the Chimney Rock 4,100-acre archaeological area lacked any protective designation to provide permanent support for and protection of its sites and resources.

"Chimney Rock's spectacular natural setting and its significance as an ancient astronomical 'observatory' make it fascinating to visitors and priceless for present and future archaeological study," said Carol Stansfield, teacher and longtime Colorado Sierra Club member.

Research indicates that outdoor recreation contributes $10 billion annually to Colorado’s economy, supporting over 100,000 jobs. The National Trust for Historic Preservation estimates that national monument designation for Chimney Rock would bring 1.2 million dollars of additional tourist revenue into the area each year.

As my colleague Michael Brune said, "Protecting public lands is good for communities, good for business and good for nature." Americans have repeatedly demonstrated their support for permanent protection of our nation’s most treasured places.

We hope this legacy of protection continues for other natural wonders worthy of national monument status in the U.S.

Originally posted to Frances Hunt on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, Colorado COmmunity, and Park Avenue.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site