Introducing Browns Canyon National Monument

On February 19, President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate Browns Canyon National Monument near Salida, CO. This proclamation preserves 22,000 acres of Forest Service and BLM land in Colorado and provides outstanding opportunities for fishing, whitewater boating, hiking and many other outdoor activities. It is one of the most popular whitewater destinations in the country; attracting roughly 150,000 visitors annually who contribute $60 million to the local economy. The area provides critical habitat for bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer and mountain lions.
The Conservation Alliance funded two organizations working to protect Browns Canyon:  Conservation Colorado and Conservation Lands Foundation. We funded Conservation Colorado in 2006 for their effort to designate Browns Canyon as wilderness.  After more than fifteen years of attempts to protect Browns Canyon via legislation, the strategy shifted to a national monument campaign.  Conservation Lands Foundation, a 2014 grantee, worked with the Obama Administration to bring this national monument campaign across the finish line.
Senator Mark Udall introduced legislation last year to designate Browns Canyon as a National Monument, but Congress failed to move the bill. Udall’s legislation specified that paddling on the Arkansas would continue to be managed by the Colorado State Parks as it is today. The president’s proclamation of Browns Canyon National Monument honors the spirit of Udall’s legislation, which followed a multi-year process of input from local residents, paddlers, ranchers, and businesses.
The Conservation Alliance applauds President Obama for designating the Browns Canyon National Monument. With this proclamation, President Obama continues his legacy of protecting special wild places with designations that enjoy strong local support. We thank President Obama for recognizing this special place, and protecting Browns Canyon forever.
100% of our membership dues support conservation opportunities like Browns Canyon.  Together, we are making a measurable impact toward protecting threatened wild places in North America.

Browns Canyon, CO Photo: Bob Wick