June 23, 2021

Chiricahua National Monument could get an upgrade

A bill moving through Congress would make the popular spot into a national park.

Chiricahua landscape Chiricahua National Monument.
AZPM

The U.S. Senate subcommittee on National Parks took testimony on a bill, Wednesday, that would make the Chiricahua National Monument in Cochise County a national park.

In the Senate, the proposal is sponsored by Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly.

Kelly told committee members that the change in designation has broad support.

“I also have a letter from the San Carlos Apache Tribe that wants to ensure the legislation would not open the park to mining or impact visitation by tribal members,” said Kelly.

The National Park Service says it supports changing the designation of the national monument. A representative of the Park Service also said there would be no mining in the park and there would be no access restrictions for tribal members.

National monuments can be designated by the President but only Congress can designate an area as a national park.

Kelly and Sinema, along with Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick and Tom O’Halleran, are also pushing bills that would expand the boundaries of the Sunset Crater National Monument in northern Arizona and the boundaries of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

Those bills were also reviewed by the committee and have the support of the National Park Service.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona