Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Shane Wolfe
For Immediate Release: September 9, 2004


Secretary Gale Norton to Announce National Park Status
for Great Sand Dunes National Monument


WASHINGTON-Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton will travel to southern Colorado on Monday, Sept. 13, 2004, to re-designate Great Sand Dunes National Monument to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Norton will be joined by members of the Colorado Congressional delegation.

Under the Great Sand Dunes National Park Act of 2000, Secretary Norton has the authority to change Great Sand Dunes from a national monument to a national park. That law authorized the Secretary to establish Great Sand Dunes National Park when she determined that "sufficient land having a sufficient diversity of resources" had been acquired by the federal government.

WHO: Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell
US Representative Scott McInnis
Nature Conservancy Colorado State Director, Mark Burget
National Park Service Regional Director Steve P. Martin.

WHAT: Secretary Norton will announce designation of Great Sand Dunes as Colorado's 4th National Park

WHEN: Monday, September 13, 2004 at 12:45 p.m. MDT
Media availability to immediately follow
WHERE: Great Sand Dunes amphitheater,
11500 Highway 150
Mosca, Colo.

The media and general public are invited and encouraged to attend this important and historic announcement and signing ceremony, which will be followed by a media availability.

Those interested in attending the announcement event should meet at the Dunes parking lot. To ease parking problems, transportation to the event will be provided all morning from the Dunes parking lot, located about 1 mile from the amphitheater. Those with disabilities and members of the press will be directed to convenient parking. Entrance fees will be waived until 3:00 p.m. for all visitors.



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