The following is re-cap on a recent open house hosted by Senator Udall and Congressman Lamborn to gather input on protecting Browns Canyon with a wilderness/monument designation. Several local BHA member spoke in support of protecting Brown's Canyon through a wilderness designation. The following synopsis was written by BHA member Bill Dvorak and the pictures were taken by CO BHA Co-Chair, John Gale. For recent news from CO BHA on this effort click here, for an article outlining the habitat values within the Brown's Proposal, click here, and for more photos from the event, click here.
Well over 200 people attended a public meeting in Nathrop, Co convened by Senator Mark Udall on his recent draft legislation proposing a National Monument and additional wilderness designation for the popular Brown’s Canyon recreation area in Chaffee County. Local Representative Doug Lamborn was also in attendance and was a reason many came to the meeting. To my knowledge it was the first time he has ever taken part in such a large scale public meeting in Chaffee county.
The following letter to the editor by Colorado BHA Habitat Watchmen, Adam Gall recently appeared appeared in the Grand Junction Journal Sentinel 4/11/13. An original version of the letter can be accessed here.
Thompson Divide drilling would hurt hunters, others
As a sportsman, I was encouraged to read that Rep. Scott Tipton is open to supporting legislation preserving some of the best hunting grounds and wildlife habitat in Colorado.
Hunting is a way of life for me, and I see it as a major contributor to our local economy. I’ve met hunters who have traveled far and wide to hunt our lands, stay in our motels and shop in our local stores. Here in Delta County we’re fortunate to have some of the best big-game hunting in Colorado.
Game Management Units 42, 43 and 521 provide more than 20,000 licenses annually for mule deer, elk, bear and mountain lion. These units converge at the Mesa, Gunnison and Pitkin county lines – the heart of what is known as the Thompson Divide.
The following article was published in the The (Salida, Colo.) Mountain Mail: 4/10/13. The original version can be found here.
Recently, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall introduced legislation that would designate 22,000 acres of Browns Canyon between Salida and Buena Vista as a national monument and (in part) wilderness area, which would ensure the canyon remains just like it is now for future generations of hunters and anglers and other outdoorsmen and women.
Some 102,000 acres in the area were first identified as suitable for wilderness under the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE 1) in the 1970s by the Salida District of the Pike/San Isabel National Forest. In addition, the original Browns Canyon proposal of 34,762 acres was whittled down to just over 20,000 acres due to compromises made for motorized recreation and other users.
Part of the original proposal was surrendered to off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts and became part of the 100,000 acre Fourmile Motorized Area, allowing for motorcycle and OHV use in the area. Since 1992 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has recommended wilderness designation for what remains of wild areas in Browns Canyon.
In 2005 Joel Hefley (R-Colorado Springs) introduced legislation to designate 20,000 acres of the region as wilderness. The entire bi-partisan Colorado Congressional delegation swiftly jumped on board to support Hefley’s legislation. Despite the overwhelming support (that continues to this day), the legislation did not make it to a vote.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.