Brown’s Canyon is a remarkable landscape that is pivotal to the economic livelihood of south-central Colorado, drawing people from across the state and across the country to enjoy the Arkansas River and connected wildlands. The introduction of Senate Bill 1794 by Sen. Mark Udall to protect Brown’s Canyon as a national monument is a result of community input and collaboration, similar to the current efforts for the Dolores River. While national monument designation is not the path or the objective of Dolores River-related efforts, the Dolores River Dialogue has been working towards addressing local needs while creating meaningful protections for our unique river and the adjacent landscape.
As participants in this process, we understand how much cooperation is necessary to reach a plausible agreement for landscape protections. Custom-designing protections to support the social and ecological diversity that make our Western communities special places to live is an extensive process that requires genuine participation, dialogue, and compromise by all stakeholders. We applaud the efforts of Sen. Udall and the citizens of Chaffee County in reaching their exciting milestone, and we look forward to the protections that the ongoing efforts of the Dolores River Dialogue will yield for our communities in Southwest Colorado.
Wade Hanson, president, Dolores River Boating Advocates, Cortez