The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) opposes any changes to the existing boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument. As the site managers and key advocates for Chimney Rock National Monument in southwest Colorado, formed in 2012, we are extremely aware of the importance of protecting Native American cultural resources and the surrounding areas where they are found. In addition, we believe the value of a collaborative relationship with local area tribes is critical. Eliminating the boundaries that local tribes worked so hard to include is not only counter-productive, but also disregards tribal sovereignty that led to this process in the first place. In Colorado, close to 200 small businesses have signed a letter to the Colorado Congressional delegation asking them to resist attempts to shrink National Monuments and public lands protections. Dozens of businesses from our area, from Pagosa Springs to Durango, have also signed onto this letter. The protection of these special places is critical to our economic success and elimination of these protections erodes our faith in the current administration and congress to keep our state’s national monuments – and public lands more broadly – protected for future generations.
CRIA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument under a Participating Agreement with the USDA Forest Service/San Juan National Forest.
CRIA’s volunteers support the mission to preserve and protect the Monument while educating the public. CRIA promotes public education, interpretation, and stewardship of culture and history through guided tours and special events of the Chimney Rock National historic site. CRIA receives no government funding and depends on tour fees, donations and grants to fund the interpretive program.