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New owner places ‘No Climbing’ signs around historic Monument Rocks

  • Published Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at 9:43 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at 10:05 a.m.

The new owner of the Pyramid Ranch in Gove County has placed “No Climbing” signs around the historic chalk formation known as Monument Rocks and the Chalk Pyramids.

Western Kansas banker and farmer Norman Nelson is requesting that visitors to the National Natural Landmark not climb on the delicate chalk, according to a news release issued by Keystone Art Gallery and Fossil Museum in Scott City.

“Please continue to enjoy Monument Rocks and take all the pictures you want,” Barbara Shelton and Charles Bonner wrote in the release. “They have placed the ‘No Climbing’ signs so your picture taking view is unobstructed. We hope all visitors will comply with their wishes.”

Shelton and Bonner’s Keystone Gallery, located near the rocks, helped sponsor Monument Rocks when it was named in 2008 by the Kansas Sampler Foundation as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.

Nelson, who owns the First State Bank in Norton and is a large landowner in Norton, Trego and Russell counties, bought the nearly 13,000-acre Pyramid Ranch earlier this year from J.M. Thies of Topeka. The historic chalk formations are on private land, but have been open to the public since they were listed as a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1968.

Gove County is about 250 miles northwest of Wichita.

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