Of the 14,030 acres authorized for acquisition at the time Congress revised the monument's boundaries in 1978, just over 4,200 acres remained in private hands. Since the legislation allowed for an additional $3.5 million for land acquisition, the NPS could begin a concerted effort to obtain both fee title and scenic easements from property owners in all three units. This resulted in the NPS obtaining several important parcels by 1982, but negotiations for the remaining top priority tracts stalled over the following decade because of a management emphasis on land exchanges, rather than cash, as payment.
Acquisitions did not constitute the sole thrust of NPS dealings with its neighbors. Completion of a project to fence contiguous federal lands in 1986 alleviated much of the mutual concern about trespass grazing In addition, maintaining the monument's natural and pastoral setting required the NPS to be periodically involved with land use actions, whether questions arose over water, land partitions, or road locations.
Last Updated: 30-Apr-2002