Colorado National Monument employees are back to work...for now.

Last week lawmakers and the President agreed on a stop-gap measure to fund the government through February 15th. This spending bill allowed those that work at the Colorado National Monument to return today for the first time since the shutdown began over a month ago. Let's hope lawmakers can get a long-term deal done so federal employees can stay on the job.

The government stoppage may have given the 20 or so employees working at the Monument some time catch up on "honey-dos."  "My wife was still working, so taking care of things around the house, a lot of cooking, cleaning. Got a lot of projects done," says Heath Martin, of the masonry crew working at the Monument. Now back on the job he and the others are removing snow from sidewalks, reopening bathrooms, and getting Rimrock Drive cleared after the recent snows. "I am excited to be back, there's definitely a lot that goes to keeping the Monument up and running and a welcoming place for visitors," says Martin.

The Colorado National Monument won't require major clean up some national parks are experiencing because, unlike the others, locals have been pitching in and picking up trash throughout the shutdown keeping the park in good shape.

A reminder since you've not likely been to the Monument since last year, fees increased on January 1st. Admission is now $10 for pedestrians and bicyclists and $20 per vehicle.

Credit: KJCT8

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