Recently, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to designate five new national monuments for all Americans, including the San Juan Islands in Washington and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico. I am writing to applaud the president for protecting the irreplaceable natural and cultural history found in these places, and preserving it for future generations.
As newly protected national monuments, San Juan Islands and Rio Grande del Norte become the newest addition to our National Conservation Lands. More than 28 million acres of protected public lands and waterways make up the National Conservation Lands, and like our national parks and wildlife refuges, these are special places where our natural, historical and scientific treasures are preserved and open for all to enjoy. From the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, to the Craters of the Moon in Idaho, to the Canyons of the Ancients here in the Four Corners, these places are open to everyone, from sportsmen to nature lovers, from scientists to conservationists, and they offer an endless variety of ways to experience our shared outdoor traditions.
The board members of Dolores River Boating Advocates also hope to see the Dolores River permanently protected and included in the National Conservation Lands. Here in southwestern Colorado, we are lucky to have the Dolores River right in our backyard. Not only does the river provide water for agriculture and future population growth and business development, it is a world class whitewater boating destination. Its remote canyons offer rafters, kayakers and canoeists over 170 miles of adventure for multi-day river trips. Dolores River Boating Advocates fully supports the efforts in our community to protect the river and canyons for future generations as a National Conservation Area. Places like Rio Grande and the Dolores River represent our way of life, a living link to the past and our pledge to tomorrow.
I hope that President Obama and Congress will take action and continue to provide permanent protection for the many other treasured places that make our country great.
Dolores River Boating