World Class Resources, Shoestring Budget: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
This week the Durango Herald highlighted one of the most important areas in the National Conservation Lands: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Located in southwest Colorado, Canyons of the Ancients contains more than 6000 archeological sites and exceptional recreational opportunities.
As the Herald points out, the Bureau of Land Management receives only a fraction of what nearby Mesa Verde National Park receives to conserve the cultural resources and manage visitation to the area.
A new organization, the Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance, with support from the Conservation Lands Foundation, is helping offset some of the costs by recruiting volunteers and supporting BLM staff.
Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance is off to a strong start, but they can use more financial support and additional volunteers. They can be reached at swcocanyons.org
However, to fully meet the conservation needs of Canyons of the Ancients and all of the National Conservation Lands, Congress needs to provide adequate resources to the Bureau of Land Management for planning, cultural resource inventories, visitor services, law enforcement, scientific studies and recreational management.