The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reportsthat Udall told residents on Saturday that he and Rep. Scott Tipton will decide by midyear whether to introduce legislation to convert the monument to a park.

Park status generally brings more services than monument status. Proponents say it would attract more visitors, which would boost the regional economy.

Udall, a Democrat, and Tipton, a Republican, formed a citizens committee that spent a year studying the idea but disbanded without making a recommendation.

The 32-square-mile monument is just west of Grand Junction and encompasses towering rock formations carved by erosion.