Senator Udall Introduces Browns Canyon of The Arkansas River Legislation

posted December 10, 2013
by Nathan Fey

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Nathrop, Colorado -  On December 10th, Mark Udall, chairman of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee, introduce legislation to create the Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River Wilderness and National Monument, covering 22,000 acres between Salida and Buena Vista. This community-driven legislation, expected to support jobs in Chaffee County and throughout the region, includes 10,500 acres of new wilderness and preserves the most popular rafting destination in the country.

"Over the last 18 months I developed this bill working side-by-side with Chaffee County leaders, residents, businesses and other stakeholders. We developed this community-driven bill to ensure future generations of Coloradans can enjoy Browns Canyon's unique mix of whitewater and wilderness," Udall said. Senate Bill 1794 will help create jobs, strengthen Chaffee County's economy and preserve this special place for decades to come. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect Browns Canyon and pass this common-sense bill."

The legislation incorporates ideas derived from several public comment sessions, written correspondence and a series of meetings with local stakeholders, including American Whitewater.

Udall's proposal seeks to:

- Preserve visitor access as it is now.
- Protect existing legal uses as they are now, allowing fishing, hunting, livestock grazing, commercial outfitting, water supplies, mountain biking and motorized use to continue uninterrupted.
- Maintain the ongoing, cooperative management of the area by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.

Udall's bill also contains several changes based on community feedback and the ideas raised at a series of public meetings and listening session over the past several months. For example:
- The bill contains language that makes it clear that local ranchers can continue run livestock in the area and transfer their grazing allotments to future generations.
- The bill also contains a boundary adjustment to clearly exclude cattle watering tanks from the national monument.

Udall's legislation bans commercial-scale mining from the bed and banks of the river, protecting water supplies, boaters and anglers.

Stay tuned for more information as the bill moves through Congress.


 

Colorado Stewardship Director
Nathan Fey
1601 Longs Peak Ave.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-859-8601


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