HECHO joins many grateful organizations and communities in thanking President Obama for taking action to designate Browns Canyon as the newest National Monument in Colorado. Latino families and our communities have been using and enjoying the Browns Canyon area for generations. For too long, we have witnessed extractive industries such as oil, gas, and mineral development, as well as urban growth, mar the landscapes, pollute watersheds and affect the wildlife that have sustained us for generations.
The lands and waters in Browns Canyon are part of our heritage and are as treasured to us as are the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, the Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico and other areas throughout the West. Its permanent protection will be a great addition to our National Monument system and will be a place that we can continue to fish, hunt, camp, and hike. As in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, traditional uses will continue and will remain part of the fabric of our culture and traditions.
This designation under the 1906 Antiquities Act is especially fulfilling for the communities that have been engaged in the extensive public input process involving diverse stakeholders such as local businesses and communities, sportsmen, faith communities, youth groups, and elected officials. Although bipartisan legislative attempts to add greater protections to the area had been unsuccessful, strong and consistent public support in partnership with the President’s executive action has resulted in greater protection for the region, which is valued for its wildlife, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities on the Arkansas River.
“It was exciting to see that the final public hearing drew hundreds of people, including a large number of Latinos from Denver,” said Rod Torrez of HECHO. Browns Canyon is within easy reach of large communities along the Front Range, and as a national monument, will provide continued access for outdoor recreation, as well as protect the natural surroundings that we all enjoy.
[tweetthis url="http://www.hechoonline.com/?p=711"]Protecting Browns Canyon was a public process! Thanks @BarackObama![/tweetthis]