Lifestyle & Belief

Chimney Rock is named a US national monument


US President Barack Obama signs a proclamation designating Fort Ord, a former military base in California, as a national monument on April 20, 2012.


Saul Loeb

President Barack Obama designated Chimney Rock, almost 5,000 acres of high desert in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado, as a national monument today, the Denver Post reported.

The site is known for its twin sandstone spires, according to NPR. The moon rises exactly between the site stone pillars every 18 to 19 years.

The area also contains remains of buildings inhabited by the ancestors of Pueblo Indians 1,000 years ago, CBS News reported.

The national monument designation is expected to boost tourism, CBS News reported. Ranchers will maintain grazing rights on the land, the Denver Post reported.

"With President Obama's action and the strong support of the Native American community and others throughout the region, this new monument will bring new economic opportunity to Archuleta County and the Four Corners region," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, CBS News reported.

According to CBS News:

A study commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation said a monument designation could double the site's economic impact on the region from $1.2 million today to $2.4 million by 2017.

There are 102 other national monuments in the US, two of them designated by Obama, CBS News reported: Fort Ord National Monument in California, and Fort Monroe, a former army base in Virginia.

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