An Introduction to Browns Canyon National Monument

Browns Canyon New Mexico
A view from within the Monument

Allow us to provide an introduction to Browns Canyon National Monument.

If you haven’t heard the news, Colorado’s newest national monument was established on February 19, 2015 by presidential proclamation. It is the eighth such park in our state.

Under his powers vested in him by the Antiquities Act, President Barack Obama declared about 21,580 acres of federally-owned land near Salida, in Chaffee County, to be officially known as Browns Canyon National Monument. Within the boundaries of the new monument are colorfully eroded rock pinnacles and cliffs, unparalleled views of the prominent Sawatch Range, a pristine portion of the Arkansas River not far from its headwaters, artifacts from prehistoric peoples, and critical habitat for a variety of plants and animals including bighorn sheep, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, mountain lions, black bears, and sensitive amphibian species. In addition, the area is home to world-class fishing and rafting opportunities. The action permanently protects the area and all of its treasures from impacts of potentially damaging activities such as resource extraction, new road construction, and residential development.

There are many great things about this monumental designation. One of the most important to mention is the incredible community effort to have Browns Canyon protected in this way. Numerous community groups, private citizens, and high-ranking elected officials have been working towards monument status for as long as two decades. Imagine the joy when the initiative finally made it to the President’s desk!

While we love HOAs at CAP Management, we know that not all land needs to be developed. Some of it needs to be protected for the benefit of other species, or, if for nothing else, the opportunity to enjoy solitude and wild forms of outdoor recreation, which is becoming more and more rare. At the very least, simply knowing this landscape is there and will remain unchanged is satisfaction enough.

We love Colorado and with this blog aim to partake in the celebration that our beautiful state deserves. Here’s to Browns Canyon National Monument!