February 27, 2012
CWF applauds Senator Mark Udall's effort to protect Browns Canyon. On February 26, 2012 Sen. Udall announced that he is undertaking a collaborative, community-driven process to develop legislation for wilderness designation of Browns Canyon in Chaffee County, Colorado. Sen. Udall also seeks to protect areas of the Central Mountains (in Summit, Eagle, and Pitlin Counties). He stated, "If we do it in the right way, protecting public lands supports jobs, our economy, and Colorado's special quality of life."
Please view the map options on the Senator's website and post your comments.
CWF issued the following press release on February 27:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DENVER, CO (February 27, 2012) – Today, the Colorado Wildlife Federation (CWF) applauded U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s commitment to engaging in a public dialogue about the future of Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River.
“For more than a decade, local citizens, businesses, sportsmen and other conservation groups have advocated for the permanent protection of Browns Canyon, a stunning, rugged stretch of natural landscape that supports a multimillion-dollar local outdoor industry,” stated Suzanne O’Neill, executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Federation.
Browns Canyon is a popular destination with Colorado’s anglers, hunters, and other wildlife enthusiasts. Due to the low elevation of the land, the area provides critical winter range for deer, elk and bighorn sheep. This beautifully rugged area lends itself to foot or horseback primitive hunting. The proposal to designate the area as a national monument would preserve habitat for game species and ensure that Browns Canyon would remain open to hunting and other outdoor recreation activities.
Wildlife-related and other outdoor recreation are important contributors to the Colorado economy. Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the nation. The rafting industry alone at Browns Canyon contributes more than $23 million a year to the Arkansas Valley economy. “If this Congress is truly focused on creating and preserving jobs in our outdoor recreation sector, they will support federal protection for Browns Canyon,” commented O’Neill.
As important wildlife habitat continues to shrink, CWF and its members look forward to engaging in dialogue with Senator Udall about the protection of Browns Canyon. Preserving these public lands will also the continued enjoyment of the area by Colorado hunters and anglers and allow us to pass on this important outdoor legacy to our children and grandchildren.
The Colorado Wildlife Federation is Colorado’s oldest and most effective wildlife conservation organization. Founded in 1953, our membership consists of wildlife conservationists - wildlife viewers, hunters, and anglers - who believe in the stewardship of a wildlife population that defines our state heritage and traditions. www.coloradowildlife.org