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Tribute bench to be relocated near Incline

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Apr 12 2013 11:41:25 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 12 2013 11:52:25 PM CDT
Bench on the way up the Incline

Courtesy Ted Smith, Facebook

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -

The U.S. Forest Service and the city of Colorado Springs are working together to find a new home for an illegal bench. They said it will be near the Manitou Incline.

On Friday, a statement from the Forest Service was released by the city. It read that the bench will not be removed immediately but a proper site must be found near the Incline.

Normally memorials are not allowed on national forest land but exceptions can come in the form of special-use permits and congressional designation.

"It's definitely on forest land," said Cindy Aubrey, a spokeswoman for the city.

Because the city of Colorado Springs now maintains the Incline, it's up to parks leaders to find a new spot.

"The City of Colorado Springs will find an appropriate and dignified location for the memorial bench," read the statement.

The plan to simply remove the bench prompted several emails from the public to elected city leaders.

Outgoing City Councilman Bernie Herpin responded to the outcry to keep the bench where it is.

He wrote on his Facebook page the parks department is "taking action to find a suitable location for the bench." Herpin continued, "We have also contacted Senator Bennett's and Congressman Lamborn's offices to see if there is a way to get the USFS to allow the bench to stay."

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