Jun 10, 2011 6:12 PM by Greg Boyce
PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Colorado congressman Scott Tipton plans to introduce a bill making Chimney Rock in southwest Colorado a national monument.
The Republican announced his plan Friday, saying the designation would increase awareness of the archaeological site west of Pagosa Springs and boost tourism. He says the area could still be used for livestock grazing and by Indian tribes. It's believed that members of the ancient Puebloan culture gathered at the site in the San Juan National Forest to observe rare lunar events at the large stone mound with spires.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has said the area's pueblos are the farthest northern points related to New Mexico's famed Chaco Canyon, a center of the Puebloan culture. Chimney Rock was designated an Archaeological Area and National Historic Site in 1970.