Udall introduces Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act
Ten years of continued local support and advocacy for permanent protection of Colorado’s Browns Canyon is finally paying off.
Senator Mark Udall’s “Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act”, received a hearing by US Senate National Park Subcommittee this past Wednesday, July 23. This is huge a step towards permanent protection for Browns Canyon.
Udall’s legislation will protect 20,000 acres of Browns Canyon including the stretch of the Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vista. This collaborative bill will encourage economic prosperity while protecting Browns Canyon’s cultural, ecological, and scientific resources.
Browns Canyon’s sweeping vistas, abundance of wildlife, and primitive locations offer premier opportunities for hunters, hikers, wildlife watchers, anglers, climbers, and horseback riders. The river, making major contributions to Colorado’s annual $10 billion active outdoor recreation income, has earned Gold Medal trout fishing status and receives up to 100,000 rafters annually.
In a recent poll, 77% of Colorado residents support the passage of Udall’s bill. Friends of Browns Canyon, Arkansas River Outfitters Association, Sportsmen for Browns Canyon, and many others have demonstrated continued support for permanent protection of one of Colorado’s last undeveloped canyons. Thanks to their hard work, this ecological and economic gem of Chaffee and Fremont counties will persevere for generations to come, proving that monuments really do matter.
Written by Colorado State University Student and Conservation Lands Foundation Intern Brittany Messinger