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Browns Canyon Designated National Monument

Published: March 9, 2015

Browns Canyon Designated National Monument

Earlier this month, President Obama successfully recognized Browns Canyon as Colorado’s 8th national monument.  There has been debate over the last 30 years surrounding the protection and preservation of Browns Canyon in central Colorado, just outside of Salida. Last year, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Senator Mark Udall fell unsuccessful in their efforts to push a Browns Canyon protection bill through Congress.

Bennet refused to dismiss the issue and teamed up with Governor Hickenlooper encouraging Obama to take executive action through powers provided to each president from the Antiquities Act of 1906.  The law states “that the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments”.

As a national monument residing in the upper Arkansas River Valley, 21,000 acres of land will receive government protection including the vast wildlife residing in the area such as big horn sheep, elk, black bear, mountain lions and bald eagles.  The canyon brings a very unique ecosystem to Colorado, with a mid level elevation ranging between 7,300 – 10,000 feet.  The river valley has an extremely diverse fish presence while providing necessary resources for the many different species of wildlife.

Browns Canyon is open year round, promoting the remote solitude offered within this stretch of land to the outdoor enthusiast.  Most visitors come to Browns Canyon to experience one of the nations most popular whitewater rafting sites.  The northern trail systems are suitable for all age level hikers, with designated trails ranging from levels of beginner to advanced.  Activities such as fishing, camping, climbing and sightseeing are also among the list of endless outdoor adventures provided by the national monument.

The protection provided by national monument status will allow the local business to prosper as visitors continue to enjoy the natural habitat.  Support the local economy next time you decide to visit by renting your fishing gear, rafting necessities or camping supplies from any of the surrounding communities!  For more information on Brown’s Canyon and local trail maps, visit the website at:

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to contact Dennis Clauer at (970) 389-5165 for more local Summit County information and professional real estate guidance! 


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