Q&AZ: What Happens If Chiricahua National Monument Becomes A National Park?

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 8:18am
Updated: Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 9:35am

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Chiricahua National Monument
Katy Hooper/National Park Service
Rock formations at Chiricahua National Monument.

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly proposed a bill in the U.S. Senate last month to upgrade Chiricahua National Monument to Arizona's fourth national park.

Through KJZZ's Q&AZ project, a listener asked: Would this upgraded status to national park mean additional funding or just a name change?

According to the Bureau of Land Management, a national monument normally receives extra infrastructure funding. 

The conversion from a national monument to a national park generally leads to more foot traffic, so expanding parking lots and campgrounds would be a priority.

The protections for the land, however, stay exactly the same. National monuments are preserved and protected at the same level as national Parks. 

Currently, the bill hasn’t been put to a vote. It has been co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and given to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Q&AZ

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