Last updated 9:42PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Mesa Verde Growth Bill Heard
(2007-03-22)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A bill to expand the boundaries of Southwest Colorado's largest tourist attraction is now moving through Congress.
If approved, the measure would add almost 400 acres to Mesa Verde.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports:

VICTOR: Senate Bill 126 received its first hearing in the U.S. Congress this week.
Colorado U.S. Senator Ken Salazar chaired the hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks on the Mesa Verde Bill and on bills impacting two other Colorado National Parks.
Salazar is co-sponsoring the Mesa Verde bill with Republican U.S. Senator Wayne Allard.
Dan Sakura of the Conservation Fund testified in favor of what's called the Mesa Verde National Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2007.
SAKURA: BY EXPANDING THE PARK BOUNDARY BY APPROXIMATELY 360 ACRES AT THE PARK ENTRANCE, S126 WILL ENABLE THE PARK SERVICE TO PROTECT A 324 ACRE TRACT OF PRIVATELY OWNED LAND WITH IMPORTANT ARCHEOLOGICAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES ALONG THE POINT LOOKOUT ROAD CORRIDOR, THE MAIN ACCESS FOR THE PARK.
The Henneman family is deeding the 324 acres to the park through the Conservation fund.
Sakura testified that a second part of the bill involves almost 40 additional acres.
SAKURA: IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MESA VERDE FOUNDATION, S126 WILL ALSO AUTHORIZE THE PARK SERVICE TO ACCEPT A DONATION OF A 38 ACRE TRACT OF LAND AS THE SITE FOR A NEW COLLECTION AND RESEARCH CENTER, AND VISITOR AND INFORMATION CENTER.
The Mesa Verde Foundation is currently working to raise an estimated 25-million dollars to fund the new facilities.
Senate Bill 126 now heads to the full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for action.
Mesa Verde, which celebrated it's 100th birthday with events throughout last year, draws 300 to 500 thousand visitors to the area each year.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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