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Contact: Arlene Jackson, 970-858-3617 x363
Contact: Michael Paxson, 970-858-3617 x307
Why: To celebrate 106 years of spectacular grandeur, history, preservation and the economic success of Colorado National Monument.
What: To give a posthumous award to President William Howard Taft, honoring him for his use of the Antiquities Act to create Colorado National Monument. Accepting the award will be a local family descendant, Taft Moore.
Who: Hosted by the staff of Colorado National Monument Association and the National Park Service.
Where: Colorado National Monument Visitor's Center, 1750 Rim Rock Drive, Fruita, Colorado 81521
When: May 24, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.
When founder John Otto first arrived in the Grand Valley in 1906, he combed through the remote canyons like few had ever done before. He dedicated his life to making the canyons a national park so all Americans could enjoy them. Otto wrote a petition to create a national park and knocked on doors until he'd won the support of nearly every local businessman and leader, encouraging federal representatives of the day to introduce a bill.
Just when it looked like a sure thing, a congressional slowdown threatened the legislation and Otto's dream. As fortune would have it, President William Howard Taft had visited the Grand Valley and never forgot the magnificent monoliths of the canyons. Taft believed the canyons deserved National Park status but the only tool available to him as president to save one of America's most unique landscapes was the Antiquities Act. With the full support of local leaders, the president signed a Presidential Proclamation on May 24, of 1911 creating Colorado National Monument. This was long before the creation of the majority of our national parks. In 1911 Colorado National Monument was the 30th unit of the National Park Service.
Since its creation in 1911 the Colorado National Monument has been a prolific and consistent economic driver in the Grand Valley, generating hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs for the local economy in the past 106 years.
80 year old Taft Moore's grandfather was William Howard Taft's cousin. It is with immeasurable appreciation that the National Park Service and Colorado National Monument Association will recognize the Taft family's enduring legacy and will be presenting an award to Taft Moore on behalf of all of William Howard Taft's descendants. We honor William Howard Taft's courage in protecting some of the greatest landscapes in the West for future generations.
Colorado National Monument Association will provide light refreshments.
Spring hours are now in effect at Colorado National Monument. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
For additional information please visit www.nps.gov/colm or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360.