Press Release – Colorado Senators Efforts to Designate a Browns Canyon National Monument Applauded

Conservation Organization Applauds Colorado Senators
Efforts to Designate a Browns Canyon National Monument
National Monument designation would protect wildlife habitat and continue access for hunting, whitewater rafting 

Durango, CO (February 28, 2014) – The Conservation Lands Foundation praised Senator Bennett’s announcement that he would co-sponsor a bill to permanently protect Browns Canyon as a national monument.

“Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet should be commended for working to safeguard Colorado’s outdoor heritage,” said Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Durango-based Conservation Lands Foundation. “Permanently protecting Browns Canyon will ensure that an area important to wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation will be persevered for future generations.”

Browns Canyon is a popular destination with Colorado’s hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts. Due to the low elevation of the land, the area provides critical winter range for deer, elk and bighorn sheep.  This beautifully rugged area lends itself to foot or horseback primitive hunting. The proposal to designate the area as a national monument would preserve habitat for game species and ensure that Browns Canyon would remain open to hunting and other outdoor recreation activities.

For more than 10 years, local citizens and bipartisan lawmakers have been working to protect Browns Canyon. The Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act of 2013 (S. 1794) has support from local citizens, businesses, sportsmen and conservation groups.

Browns Canyon is the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the country. According to a recent study by the Colorado River Outfitters Association, commercial rafting on the Arkansas River that runs through Browns Canyon brought in roughly $55 million in 2013 from rafting on the Arkansas River. Protecting this area in the condition it is today will support and grow the local economy.

“As a southwest Coloradan, I know that a Browns Canyon National Monument could be a large conservation and economic win for both the local community and the state,” stated O’Donnell.

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