Bill to protect Browns Canyon gets its day in Congress

Browns Canyon.

Susan Mayfield2012, flickr.

A popular hiking, biking and rafting destination in Colorado is moving closer to permanent protection, thanks to Sen. Mark Udall.

Browns Canyon is an outdoor recreation mecca, and one of Colorado's most treasured landscapes. It is enjoyed by whitewater boaters, hikers and anglers fishing for trout in of the state's largest stretch of gold metal waters.

Senator Udall has spent years working to protect Browns Canyon as a national monument, and a recent poll shows that 77% of Coloradans support this effort.

This week, Udall's bill took a step closer to national monument designation. The Senate National Parks Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill, S. 1794, that would protect 22,000 acres of these wild lands between Buena Vista and Salida, including 10,000 acres that would be designated as wilderness.

Thank Senator Udall for his work to protect Browns Canyon.

The area provides abundant wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities. This spectacular outdoor playground generates more than $55 million per year in economic activity for the local economy.

"The legislation would safeguard one of Colorado’s most treasured landscapes," said Suzanne O'Neill, Colorado Wildlife Federation's executive director. No wonder that local businesses, anglers, rafters, veterans and conservationists all support Senator Udall’s effort to preserve this area as a national monument.

After working with the local community over several years, the Senator devised a bill that would preserve the land for its current uses and protect it from mining and other development that would alter the landscape.

Senator Udall worked closely with local residents and businesses to ensure that this bill would serve the needs of a variety of interests. For that reason, S. 1794 has gained broad support and momentum locally. Please send him a note of thanks.