Glade Park and Pinon Mesa

The Roads

The roads to Glade Park and Pinon Mesa are an important part of the lives of residents. We have spent a lot of time driving on them, dealing with the physical conditions, and the issues surrounding them. It seems only fitting to dedicate a page to them.

Colorado National Monument

"Classic Western Quarrel" Continues

Oct. 2014: Latest "Listening Session" Did Not Impress

June 2014: Ban on Haz Mat Transportion Through CNM

We knew this would not go away, didn't we?

National Park status for CNM - Saga Continues.

In spite of a working group made up of all interested parties putting a lot of time an effort into studying the subject of whether the Colorado National Monument should be changed to a National Park, and recommending against it, the push goes on relentlessly. The politicians from both parties are involved. Now even the famous documentary film maker Ken Burns has weighed in for changing it to a National Park, saying he knows the people of the Western Slope very well. Have we met his acquaintance?

If you would like more information, or want to know what you can do to help out, here is a website to answer those questions.

Friends of the Colorado National Monument

Recommended background reading on this topic:

Scroll down this page to:

The Classic Western Quarrel: A History of the Road Controversy at the Colo. Nat. Monument

Denver Post story

Colorado News Colorado National Monument in new effort to become national park By Nancy Lofholm The Denver Post Posted: 04/02/2014 12:01:00 AM MDT

The more than century-long intermittent effort to turn the Colorado National Monument into a national park moved forward Tuesday when U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., unveiled a proposal that could lead to legislative action on the change this year.

"It is never too late," Udall said of the effort begun in 1907 by monument founder John Otto. "There is a broad cross section of western Colorado that still believes John Otto's vision was the correct vision."

The formal proposal, crafted by Udall and Tipton, would not only upgrade the 20,534-acre monument to park status, making it the 60th U.S. national park, but it would also give it a new name: Rim Rock Canyons National Park.

The announcement of a "working group summary" kicks off a 90-day public-comment period.

The proposal, which Udall termed "a draft summary of a bill," is also guaranteed to revive controversy. The change from monument to park status has alternately been cast in the Grand Valley of western Colorado as economically beneficial; as if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it tinkering; and as a ho-hum nonissue.

Former Colorado National Monument superintendent Joan Anzelmo, who got the ball rolling with Udall on park status, said she does not like the new proposed name. She had proposed Colorado Canyons National Park. "I think Colorado loses out if the name 'Colorado' is left out," she said.

The change in status would not affect rights of way, federal air-quality standards in the Grand Valley, water rights or current boundaries.

Tipton issued a statement saying he has not drafted a bill calling for park status and that he wants the process to be "community driven and locally supported."

National Park status for CNM still being pushed.

The "New York Times" Weighs In

For some time now a committee that includes Glade Park residents has been considering whether Colorado National Monument should become a National Park. It seems to primarily be a marketing scheme, so that more people will find out about it, and flock here, boosting the economy in the Grand Valley.

For the citizens of Glade Park it should be pretty obvious that it is likely to lead to a lowered quality of life. Travel through the CNM, which Glade Park is entitled to historically, and by a hard fought court battle, is not likely to get easier. More tourists mean more congestion. More cars, more bicyclists.

There is also the impact on Glade Park Volunteer Fire Department, which is a first responder for accidents in the CNM. It is already stretched to the breaking point by increased calls for emergency services as well as fire fighting. Although CNM has contributed equipment and support, there is no monetary compensation. Increased traffic in CNM will stretch the GPFD even more.

To some it might seem selfish to advocate for the self-interest of Glade Park on this issue. That might be true, unless GP interests are also tied to the best interests of Colorado National Monument. It seems that the present level of visitation is already stretching the capacity of this small park. Increased traffic will impact travel through CNM, wildlife, and trail use. Right now it is a well cared for jewel. Why make it into an over crowded, well beaten path?

It appears that this issue has generated more than regional interest. The New York Times recently posted a story on it.

Residents, many who grew up ranching the high mesas or exploring the monument’s desolate canyons years ago, said the monument was special precisely because it was so easily overlooked by tourists bound for marquee national parks. Some said they worried about car crashes, fires, garbage and increased pollution. They worried that its boundaries would grow, pushing at their property lines.

“Do you really want more people?” one commenter asked. “More problems?”

And: “Please don’t ruin a beautiful place for economic gain.”

See link for the full New York Times story (for as long as it remains online):

Disputing Whether a National Treasure Needs a Name Upgrade

Here is a spooky experience. A time lapse trip from Glade Park, down the Colorado National Monument. Whether you continue to Salt Lake City is up to you. Not sure who recorded it, and put it on YouTube, but "Brock 1912" might provide a clue.

A high speed (time lapse) trip from Glade Park down the Colorado National Monument

December, 2009

"Fast Times at Colorado National Monument"

Today I discovered the blog of Colorado National Monument's new "transportation scholar." I do not know what a transportation scholar does, but it will be interesting to learn. With the past history one cannot help wondering how the information he collects will be used in future interactions with Glade Park.

Fast Times on Colorado National Monument

A Classic Western Quarrel:

A History of the Road Controversy at the Colorao National Monument

By Lisa Schoch-Roberts

A graduate student did some extensive research, and wrote a history of the interaction between Colorado National Monument and Glade Park residents. Although she editorializes at times, it is still the best source of information on this subject.

Due to the ongoing controversy, now on changing the status of CMN to a National Monument to bring more attention, visitors, and tourism dollars to the area, this document continues to have relevance.

A Classic Western Quarrel

The "Thelma and Louise" Syndrome

Ear to the Ground Blog entry:

Is "Thelma and Louise" to blame for this?

In case you have missed the flashing portable electronic billboard...and did not get handed a flier at the Colorado National Monument entrance gate. Think they are trying to tell us something? It is all about the wrecked mess left in Red Canyon by an apparently suicidal woman last fall. It was all so "Thelma and Louise," I makes you wonder if that unfortunate ending to an otherwise good movie may have led this poor woman to believe this would be a glorious way to end it all. It is not the first time movies have glorified ill conceived actions. As a previously blogged, it is a double tragedy when someone is both suicidal and bent on going out in a dramatic way that will cost thousands of dollars in clean up, not to mention some risk to the rescue and clean-up crews, inconvenience to commuters, and loss of access to tourists. How much money and man hours will the CNM have to spend on this mess, that could have been better directed toward their mission. That is a poor memorial to a life. New barriers have been installed along the road. Hopefully no one else will be inclined to subvert them to do another "Thelma and Louise."

On a separate occasion, a man intentionally drove his van into the canyon. Although he was suicidal, it was obviously not his time to go.

Rocky Mtn. News story:
January, 2009

Van caught on rock in Red Canyon

Road Concerns

Ear to the Ground Blog entry

“Drug use, speeding, suicides plague National Monument,” is the headline for the Daily Sentinel article about the challenges for Monument staff. If you have traveled that road after dark you have noticed the activity does not cease at sundown. It used to be mainly couples trying to find a find a romantic spot with a view of the city lights. But drinking and drug use have increased, including meth. Cold Shivers point is a hot spot for drug use, as well as suicidal people. Of course Glade Park commuters, and the trucks and vehicles that bring us goods and services, are discussed. It appears to be an unusual situation for a national park road to also be the feeder road for a community. But this interchange has been going on for a long time. (see Glade Park Library, “Classic Western Quarrel”). Be aware that they do have a radar gun now, and they issued 56 speeding tickets in 2006. If you do get a ticket you are dealing with the Feds. They also have some new signs on the way to address the interaction between motorists and cyclists. I will be glad to see that, if anyone pays attention to them. Why do drivers feel that they are entitled to go out around a cyclist wherever they encounter them, even when moving into the oncoming traffic lane on a blind corner? That is nuts. There is lots of food for thought in this article. Let’s digest it, and think about what role we can play to improve things. The decision to move to Glade Park should include acceptance that we need to allow plenty of time for the commute. We have to be willing to share the road with sight-seers and cyclists. Take a deep breath and relax. Maybe that slow poke will keep you from getting a speeding ticket. And if you have a cell phone and notice suspicious activity at night, move on past it, then call it in. Glade Parkers can have a big impact on how safe that stretch of road is.

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