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B$Z: The Conservation Alliance Applauds New Browns Canyon National Monument

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Katie Ferraro
The Conservation Alliance applauds President Obama for designating the Browns Canyon National Monument. This proclamation preserves 22,000 acres of Forest Service and BLM land in Colorado. In addition to protecting habitat values, the new monument safeguards a $60-million whitewater rafting economy on the Arkansas River.

“Browns Canyon is among the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the United States,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “With this proclamation, President Obama continues his legacy of protecting special wild places with designations that enjoy strong local support.”

Several Conservation Alliance grantees, including Conservation Lands Foundation, Conservation Colorado, and American Whitewater, worked with local stakeholders to secure this designation.

Former Colorado 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.  

“We thank President Obama for recognizing this special place, and protecting Browns Canyon forever,” said Sterling.

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