Sen. Mark Udall says western Colorado residents will have to support the idea of upgrading the Colorado National Monument to national park status if they want their congressional representatives to push the idea.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that Udall told residents on Saturday that he and Rep. Scott Tipton will decide by midyear whether to introduce legislation to convert the monument to a park.
Park status generally brings more services than monument status. Proponents say it would attract more visitors, which would boost the regional economy.
Udall, a Democrat, and Tipton, a Republican, formed a citizens committee that spent a year studying the idea but disbanded without making a recommendation.
The 32-square-mile monument is just west of Grand Junction and encompasses towering rock formations carved by erosion.