Friends of Angler's Covey,
I need your help.
Browns Canyon, a section of the Arkansas River, needs our help.
Last March, Friends of Browns Canyon and Senator Udall launched the project of adding protection to Browns Canyon by giving it a National Monument designation. You can read about the initial idea in the Denver Post. Currently, Browns Canyon is recognized as a Wilderness Study Area, which provides limited protection. Giving this area National Monument status will help protect a valuable asset to residents and tourists of our state.
Then it happened. Three amateur miners bought some old mining claims through a loophole in the BLM's permitting process allowing them to mine within Browns Canyon, including the possibility of using motorized dredging in the river. Although this is currently a minor threat, could it be expanded? Could they sell their claims to the commercial industry? This has raised new concerns and highlighted the need for greater protection.
Angler's Covey hosted a discussion with Congressman Doug Lamborn last August concerning this issue. We presented our concerns and Lamborn replied that adding additional government restrictions is not something he takes lightly. I generally agree with those sentiments, but in this case we have a national treasure that needs to be set aside for future generations to enjoy with thousands of anglers who recreate on its shores every year.
National Monument status may limit some business and amateur opportunities, but it will greatly enhance the tourism business opportunity, bringing more tourism dollars to our region. The positives here far outweight any minor negatives. Add to this the protection anglers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy and there is clearly only one direction to go here: support the National Monument status.
The Arkansas river has taken more than 20 years to recover from the devastating effects of mining done in the Leadville area. We can't allow that to happen to Browns Canyon. Just last week the Colorado Parks and Wildlife declared this 102 mile section in Browns Canyon "Gold Medal Waters". The highest designation a body of water can receive.
December 2nd, 2013 Senator Udall formally proposed a bill to make Browns Canyon a National Monument. Now it is time for Congressman Lamborn to support it. Will you join me by signing my letter to Congressman Lamborn asking for his support. You can sign a petition online by clicking the link below or come into Angler's Covey and sign our hard copy.
or come by the shop and sign the hard copy.
Thanks for your support,
David Leinweber, Angler's Covey
Angler’s Covey has, since its inception, supported the preservation and conservation of the natural resources in Colorado. We have partnered with various organizations, such as Trout Unlimited, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and others, in those efforts.
Now I’m asking for your support to protect a very special area of our state, Browns Canyon in Chaffee County, which is threatened -- unless we take action right now.
Over the past few years, Senator Mark Udall has been working to designate Browns Canyon as a national monument. His legislation, which has had bipartisan support, will protect the Canyon from future development while also protecting the myriad uses it currently offers: fishing, rafting, hiking, and biking. For ranchers in the area, their grazing rights will continue as they are now.
This January the Colorado Parks and Wildlife has declared this section of the Arkansas River as “Gold Medal Waters” demonstrating its remarkable characteristics and value to anglers.
This petition proves that your constituents favor the protection offered by designating Browns Canyon a national monument.
Why the urgency?
Currently, two gold mining claims have been filed to dredge the Arkansas River riverbed for gold. The issue is bigger, though, than three guys looking to pan gold on “the Ark.” Once they own a mining claim, they would be free to sell that claim to somebody else who might have bigger plans for mining which would result in more destruction of the area. Senator Udall has asked the BLM to take immediate action on these claims.
More disconcerting, however, is the precedence this would set -- which underscores the need to designate the area as a national monument. Without the protection such a designation would offer, more damaging claims on the land -- mining or other -- could be made which would threaten the pristine beauty and value of Browns Canyon.
Beyond just the protection of the area, having National Monument designation would add tremendous value to the tourism market. This would enhance tourism to Colorado as a whole, helping businesses of all types by bringing more tourism dollars into our state.
We, the undersigned, ask you, Representative Lamborn, to support Senator Udall’s proposed legislation to designate Browns Canyon as a national monument. Such a designation would protect the 22,000 acres and preserve an area of the state that allows for multiple uses by area locals, by tourists to the area, by individuals and recreational businesses in Chaffee County. Designating Browns Canyon as a national monument is the right thing to do and we ask that you move to support this proposal without further delay.