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Sudden Death to the National Park in Mesa County

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Updated: Tue, 08 Jul 2014 07:46:56 MST

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The two Colorado legislators who recently lead the charge to re-designate the Colorado National Monument as a national park are taking a step back in the face of thousands of petitions against the change. Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Scott Tipton worked together in April to unveil a rough draft of potential legislation to bring a national park to Mesa County, but now the 90 day public commenting period has ended, and both have abandoned the original plan.

Tipton announced on Monday he will not draft and will actually oppose any legislation that attempts to change the status of the monument. He said there’s not enough consensus within the local community, and the public has raised major concerns of executive branch oversight on local issues.

Senator Mark Udall also said he won't support any legislation in the short term, but he's not ready to scrap the idea completely. Udall said he’s hoping the community can come together to work out a new plan in the future that everyone can agree upon.

The main opponents to a national park organized under the name Friends of the Colorado National Monument. Organizers with the group said they collected more than 2,500 signatures on their petition against change.

“We began a petition over a year ago… because it was quite clear the ramifications [weren’t] good for Mesa County,” said the opposition group’s spokesman, Kent Carson.

Efforts to re-designate the monument to a national park are once again in limbo.

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