Obama Gives Chimney Rock Monument Status
Colorado landmark and surrounding area will receive permanent protection
Colorado’s Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, a significant cultural site comprising 4,700 acres in the San Juan National Forest, will now enjoy permanent protection as a national monument. The designation comes through President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.
The Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is considered sacred by the Pueblo tribes, whose ancestors lived on this site 1,000 years ago and built more than 200 homes and ceremonial buildings. The area now hosts tours, archaeoastronomy programs, cultural gatherings and moon-viewings.
The Pueblos and other Native American tribes, local community members, and elected officials at the local, state and national level helped bring the site to the president’s attention. The project started six years ago, but received a final push in April with a letter to President Obama.
Through the Antiquities Act, the president can designate sites of historical significance as national monuments give an executive order. The Chimney Rock Archeological Area’s new status will make sure the site remains preserved for future generations.