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On May 14, 2024, the Mesa County Board of Commissioners adopted a
resolution in opposition to the creation of the Dolores Canyons National Monument. This comes in response to the Protect the Dolores Coalition's initiative to designate an approximately 390,000-acre area encompassing parts of Mesa, Montrose, and San Miguel counties as a national monument.

The Board's decision is rooted in concerns that the national monument designation, which would be declared by presidential proclamation under the Antiquities Act of 1906, bypasses the legislative process and does not adequately consider local input or needs. The resolution stresses that the proposed area is already under multiple layers of protection managed by federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, questioning the need for further designation.

The resolution echoes a strong community sentiment against the monument designation, noting that a significant 60% of residents in the affected counties are opposed. In lieu of a national monument, Mesa County and Montrose County officials are committed to leading a comprehensive community engagement process, empowering the community to explore more sustainable and locally tailored conservation strategies.

The decision to oppose the Proposed Dolores Canyons National Monument marks a clear stance by Mesa County in favor of a broader conversation about how best to manage and protect natural landscapes while considering the needs and voices of local communities.

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Dolores Canyons on sunny day with blue sky and clouds above.