A new poll released today shows 77% of Coloradans support designation of Browns Canyon as a National Monument. The poll released by Conservation Colorado comes on the eve of an important U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on legislation to permanently protect Browns Canyon this week.
“This poll demonstrates there is strong bipartisan support across Colorado to protect Browns Canyon. The time is right to give Browns Canyon the protection it deserves,” said Pete Maysmith Executive Director Conservation Colorado.
The hearing on Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act (S.1794), introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), is a result of years of outreach and broad support in the local community. Browns Canyon is an iconic scenic section of the Arkansas River in central Colorado. It’s inner canyon and upland valleys are popular with whitewater rafters, kayakers, anglers and hikers. This stretch of the Arkansas River has recently been designated as a Gold Medal trout fishery by the State of Colorado and is the most popular whitewater rafting stretch in the entire nation.
“Browns Canyon is a sought after tourism destination, with visitors from around the world. Designation as a monument will not only protect our wildlife and recreation opportunities for future generations, it will be a boon to our local economy. It’s no surprise that so many people support a National Monument here.” said Keith Baker, a veteran and director of the Friends of Browns Canyon.
The poll conducted by Talmey-Drake for Conservation Colorado, details support from citizens throughout Colorado and across party lines with 62% of Republicans surveyed reporting they support a national monument. A Browns Canyon National Monument also earns 81% support from Colorado women and significant backing in each Colorado congressional district.
Senator Udall’s legislation would designate a 22,000 acre national monument along with a 10,500 acre wilderness area. The proposal has garnered support from the local business community, sportsmen, whitewater outfitters, the outdoor recreation community and local elected officials.
The hearing to consider a Browns Canyon National Monument will be held before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on National Parks on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM MDT in room S-366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The hearing will be available in livestream at: http://www.energy.senate.gov/