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Cortez City Council May Reconsider Neutrality on Canyons of the Ancients

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The Cortez City Council may formally endorse keeping Canyons of the Ancients National Monument despite previously saying it would stay neutral.

At a workshop two weeks ago, the councilors split evenly on supporting the monument – one of more than two dozen under review by the Trump administration for possible downsizing or rescinding. But at their meeting Tuesday, the council heard from five city residents urging them to take a stand. The former head of the Montezuma County Economic Development Council, Alan Klein, said archaeological resources are a cornerstone of local tourism, and told the board, “Your silence was deafening.” Councilor Jill Carlson said she’d had a mistaken impression about the public-comment period, which is now open, and now believes the city should weigh in. Orly Lucero said the matter was “old business” that had been decided in the workshop, and Tim Miller said no letter was needed and it would make as much sense to write Donald Trump saying the Grand Canyon should not become a landfill. But the majority directed staff to draft a letter for future consideration.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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