02.26.20

Gardner, Bennet, Tipton Cheer House Passage of Legislation to Further Protect Cultural Sites of Ancestral Pueblo

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) released the following statements today cheering House passage of H.R. 1492, which would further protect archaeological sites of the Ancestral Pueblo by allowing the National Park Service to modify the boundary of the Yucca House National Monument in southwest Colorado, expanding the monument by 160 acres. Congressman Tipton introduced H.R. 1492 in the House of Representatives as companion legislation to Gardner’s S. 641, which was approved by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in December. 

“Protecting Colorado’s public lands for our future generations is one of my top priorities, and I’m excited that the House passed our legislation that will provide additional safeguards for Yucca House National Monument, one of the most well-preserved ancient dwellings in the country,” saidSenator Gardner. “This bill will help preserve these Ancestral Pueblo sites and protect a piece of our state’s great history so Coloradans can continue to benefit from our public lands.” 

“Yucca House National Monument is one of our state’s most important archeological sites. That’s why we’re grateful to the landowner whose made this expansion possible with his generous donation. Our bill to expand the monument will further protect these ancient dwellings for future generations, ensuring Coloradans can continue to experience the rich history of the region,” said Senator Bennet. “Now that it’s passed the House, I look forward to pushing this bill over the finish line in the Senate.”

“The Yucca House National Monument is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the country and stands as a reminder of how the ancient Pueblo used to live hundreds of years ago. I am glad my colleagues joined me in supporting this bill, so future generations can continue to experience the monument,” said Congressman Tipton.

The Yucca House National Monument was established in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson following an initial donation of 9.6 acres by Henry Van Kleeck. The monument was further expanded by approximately 24 acres in 1996. Today, a private landowner is seeking to donate 160 acres of land adjacent to the national monument to further protect archaeological sites and cultural resources. The land has been studied and determined to be appropriate for inclusion in the Yucca House National Monument, but the donation must be facilitated through an Act of Congress.

The bill text can be found here.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.