May 17, 2012 1:16 PM by Greg Boyce
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today which would establish Chimney Rock as a National Monument.
Chimney Rock is located in the San Juan National Forest west of Pagosa Springs. The bill passed the House on a unanimous vote.
The bill was sponsored by Scott Tipton (R-3rd District), who lives in southwestern Colorado. "Chimney Rock is considered by the historic preservation community and the archaeological community to be one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Western United States," said Tipton. "Centuries ago, hundreds of early Native Americans called the area home. Archaeologists have uncovered ancient farming areas, homes and other structures indicating that this was a major cultural center for these early Americans. The ancestors of modern Pueblo Indians made the journey to this northernmost outpost of the Chacoan Civilization, to witness a rare lunar occurrence that they held to be sacred. Chimney Rock is one of only three such sites known to exist."
It now goes to the Senate, where Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) has introduced a similar measure.