Black Canyon Name Change Backed by Tourism Council

(Montrose) Proposals to rename the Black Canyon today received support from local tourism groups and environmental organizations who contend that the current name is morbid.

A bill expected to go before the State Senate calls for a year-long study which might, among other things, create a new image for the dark, ominous sounding spot. Any decision would have to be made at the federal level since the current Black Canyon acreage is fenced off under federal administration as a National Park.

Saying that the term black misrepresents the natural beauty of the attraction, Sell Colorado, a West Slope economic development interest, suggests lightening up the name and thus attracting even more tourists to the destination.

“We like White Canyon, or Bright Canyon,” said Irm Peawit, Executive Executive Director for Sell Colorado. “We’ve had petitions suggesting Beaming Canyon, Brilliant Canyon, Clear Canyon and Cheery Canyon. Others favor Luminous Canyon or Radiant Canyon but we’re afraid of using big words with national reading levels falling off and all. Incandescent Canyon received a great deal of support but we don’t know if it will fit on our signs.”

When asked if the name Bright Canyon might be confused with Bright Angel, a famous observation point at Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Peawit frowned.

“We hate anything to do with that other canyon. It gets all the publicity,” she griped, “when our canyon is either deeper, longer or steeper, I can’t remember which one.”

Western Slope legislators have vowed to lobby in favor of the name change in Washington this summer. But, saying that there are several other more pressing matters on the agenda, the lawmakers expect the bill to be introduced some time around January.

“Right now,” according to one Representative who spoke anonymously, “the Washington DC House and Senate have the economy, Iraq, national health care, education, Afghanistan, the War on Terror, water shortages, crime, Social Security, pollution, the ozone, corporate corruption, drug abuse, border control, North Korea, NATO conflicts and gasoline prices with which to contend…and don’t forget gay marriage and the fact that this is an election year.”

A spokesman for Rocks, Trees and Bugs, a grassroots environmental group insists that the Black Canyon is at risk due to overgrazing by summer tourists.

“If we change the name to something more positive we can pick and choose who we let in,” said Muffy Hollandaise of RTB. “The formula is simple enough: We double or triple the admission price and limit access. We could offer weekend packages with breakfast and a guide. We like the name Ambiance Canyon or Quiet Canyon “where the deer and the antelope pay.”

Further sources at the federal level say these groups are missing the point. Committees for Public Safety such as OSHA and the North American Seat Belt Consortium stressed that, due to severe drop offs common to cliffs and drastic topography, skateboards, wheel chairs and bicycles be banned from the park.

“These people have other places open to them,” said an unreliable mouthpiece at OSHA. “Why do they always have to push? The handicapped have more access ramps and parking spaces than any other group in this country. The cyclists have bike paths. The skateboarders have their hangouts. Why do they have to ruin it for the rest of us?”

Still another developer, who owns 2000 acres adjacent to the park on Black Mesa, feels his plan to build a mosquito-proof dome over the entire park is a good idea.

“Despite the short-sighted criticism and the effete finger pointing, our Dome Canyon project could still spout wings and fly,” said Robert Mojave, a former wine maker from California who plans to build 4000 new homes near the canyon by 2021. We stand to make a killing on this project and we don’t intend to let some top-heavy, socialist, low-rent entity like the federal government dictate to us. Today’s semi-outdoor enthusiasts need protection from mosquitoes.”

Mojave went on to say that if the cities of the nation could build new sports stadiums the rural areas deserved domes over precious landmarks so as to promote insect-free, year-round use.

In other news the Colorado Division of Transportation confirmed that access arteries to and from the canyon would have to be dug up and widened to accommodate any increase in traffic there. The agency estimates construction time to be five years. Plans to hire a band to entertain stranded motorists was put on the back burner due to increased campaign demands and continued bad vibes from the local musician’s union.

– Kashmir Horseshoe


Filed Under: Fractured Opinion


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