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Sep 19, 2012 8:38 PM by Kate Richards

Chimney Rock to be named national monument

DENVER (AP) - President Barack Obama's administration is creating a national monument at a dramatic rock formation in southwestern Colorado that is surrounded by the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Senator Michael Bennet's office on Wednesday confirmed a report in The Denver Post that said the move to preserve 4,700 acres of high desert around Chimney Rock would be announced Friday.

The Republican congressman who represents the area, Scott Tipton, has been pushing for the designation. So have Colorado's two Democratic senators. The preserve's advocates argue it will increase tourism in the remote region.

The monument will be the third created by the Obama administration. Presidents have the ability to set aside swathes of public land or historic buildings as national monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Obama has also designated the decommissioned Fort Monroe in Virginia and Fort Ord in California as national monuments.

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