The president took a step last week to protect our country’s unique heritage. The designation of Chimney Rock National Monument in Colorado is great recognition that some places are so important to our shared history that they deserve to be protected for all time.
Chimney Rock is of great importance to American Indian tribes. With its twin sandstone pillars and massive Chaco-style masonry walls, the monument protects a landscape important to the continuation of traditional cultural practices of the modern Pueblo Indians. This designation shows us how important it is to protect what’s important to us.
There are some very special places in Oregon where the Antiquities Act or Wilderness Act could be applied to protect special national conservation lands. One of them deserving special protection is the stunning wilds of Owyhee Canyon lands, in southeastern Oregon, a vast land of swooping canyons and solitude. This area also has a rich connection to our country’s outdoor heritage.
Continuing to protect our public lands and waters so they will endure from generation to generation is one of the most lasting things any president can do, as President George W. Bush did when he designated a vast chain of Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a national monument.
Historical, cultural and natural wonders like Chimney Rock belong to all Americans, not just the citizens of the state that fortunately has a designated land in place.