New Browns Canyon National Monument protects southern Colorado recreation gem

Photo by Mason Cummings

Browns Canyon National Monument in southern Colorado is one of America’s newest national monuments!


Join the celebration, July 18, 2015 in Buena Vista, Colorado!


President Obama officially designated the monument on Feb. 19th, protecting this unique landscape along the east bank of the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida. The area is co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service. The president also announced monument status for Chicago’s historic Pullman district and the Honouliuli internment camp in Hawaii.

Browns Canyon is an outdoor recreation mecca and one of Colorado’s most treasured landscapes. The area is well known for its whitewater rafting, fishing and hiking. This spectacular outdoor playground generates more than $55 million per year in economic activity for the local economy.

The presidential authority to designate a national monument falls under the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law used on a bipartisan basis for more than a century to protect cultural and natural landmarks. 

“These proclamations remind us that the spaces commemorating our nation’s heritage come in a rich variety of shapes and sizes,” said Matt Keller, national monuments campaign director with The Wilderness Society. “They include sites where people stood up for their rights for freedom and fair wages, places where thousands experienced the injustices of war, and landscapes that provide habitat for wildlife and heart-stopping adventure on whitewater rivers. We are proud of the Administration for listening to local communities and using the Antiquities Act to preserve these irreplaceable sites for all Americans to visit.”

Interactive map: national monuments created by President Obama

Recreational opportunities abound in Browns Canyon

Browns Canyon is the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the country, and also provides a slew of other year-round recreation opportunities. The stretch

of the Arkansas River that includes Browns Canyon was awarded “Gold Medal” status for having the highest quality cold-water fish habitats accessible to the public. It’s also a great place for hiking, backpacking, hunting, dishing, snowshoeing, birding, climbing and horseback riding.

The national monument designation will provide balanced recreational opportunities by ensuring that visitors have access to roads, vehicle river access, mountain bike trails, ATV trails and dirt bike trails that already exist.

A rugged landscape with critical habitat

The sheer ruggedness, proximity to water and lower elevation provides abundant high quality wildlife habitat for a variety of birds and animals including peregrine falcons, golden eagles, big horn sheep and elk herds.

A Browns Canyon National Monument would contribute to the economic vitality of the region

This spectacular outdoor playground generates more than $55 million per year in economic activity for the local economy. It's no wonder why 77 percent of Coloradans support protecting Browns Canyon as a national monument.

Photos: see what makes Browns Canyon a landscape worth protecting

 


Photo by Mason Cummings


Photo by Josh Dupelchain


Photo by Bob Wick, BLM


Photo by Mason Cummings


Photo by John Fielder


Photo by Mason Cummings


Photo by Mason Cummings


Photo by Josh Dupelchain


Photo by Mason Cummings


Photo by Mason Cummings


Photo by Bob WIck, BLM


Photo by Josh Dupelchain

More about monuments

Interactive map: national monuments created by President Obama