Trout Unlimited praises creation of Browns Canyon National Monument Calls monument designation ‘historic victory’ for Colorado conservation
SALIDA (Feb. 18)—Trout Unlimited today praised President Obama’s designation of Browns Canyon as a new national monument, the culmination of years of effort to protect a Colorado backcountry treasure beloved by generations of anglers, hunters, rafters, and other recreational users.
Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet recently asked President Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to establish the 22,000-acre Browns Canyon National Monument, after legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall stalled in Congress despite broad local support.
Trout Unlimited leaders called the monument action a “historic victory” for public lands conservation.
“TU members are proud to have played a leading role in protecting this Colorado crown jewel and preserving fishing and hunting opportunity for future generations,” said Chris Wood, CEO and president of Trout Unlimited. “This is a big bipartisan win for our outdoors heritage, and it sends a strong and clear message that hunters and anglers want to keep our public lands public.”
“I’m thrilled,” said Jim Impara, vice president of the Collegiate Peaks Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Salida. “Browns Canyon is one of those special places that draws rafters, hunters and anglers from all over the world. This action ensures that Browns’ wildness and rare beauty will be there for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”
For years, sportsmen’s groups have been pushing for monument status for Browns Canyon, which includes prime backcountry habitat for mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep as well as miles of outstanding Gold Medal wild trout waters in the Arkansas River.
TU and other sportsmen’s groups, including the National Wildlife Federation and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, organized local anglers and hunters to voice their support and attend numerous local meetings and public forums. The groups cited Brown’s important fish and wildlife habitat, as well as its role as an economic driver for Colorado’s $1.2 billion fishing economy and $500 million hunting economy. Browns Canyon is also the single largest contributor to Colorado’s $140 million whitewater rafting industry.
“Sportsmen helped deliver this victory for Browns,” said David Nickum, executive director of Colorado Trout Unlimited. “Our local roots and deep knowledge of this place carried weight with lawmakers and federal officials. Hunters and anglers understand the value of our public lands and wild backcountry, and we’re committed to protecting these magnificent resources and our outdoor way of life.”
He added, “We especially thank Sen. Udall for his dedication and persistence in pushing for a Browns Canyon monument. He has been a valued voice for sportsmen and for commonsense conservation.”
For more information about Browns, go to www.sportsmenforbrowns.com.
Additional resources for media:
High-res images of the Browns Canyon, available for download at Trout Unlimited Photoshelter site.
(Credit copyright holder if photo downloaded for use. If prompted for password, use “Browns Canyon”)
Trout Unlimited is a non-profit organization with 147,000 members nationwide dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. Colorado Trout Unlimited has 24 chapters and more than 10,000 members in the state.