Dinosaur National Monument and its surrounding area have a wealth of history, both human and prehistoric, that is unparalleled. This landscape includes six wilderness study areas, 150,000 acres of wilderness-quality lands, and a well-appreciated national wildlife refuge. At the heart of the landscape lies the last major free-flowing tributary to the Colorado River Basin, the Yampa River.
There are only a handful of places this pristine left in the United States. The area has two 1,000-foot deep canyons with major rivers running through them which are some of the most sought after river running destinations in the country. The Green River downstream of Flaming Gorge is one of top fly fishing destinations in the U.S. The Yampa River is managed to be a Wild and Scenic river for 50 miles downstream of Craig, indicating the unique nature of the surrounding landscapes.
However, a place this wild is also vulnerable to threats. From oil and gas leases to potentially pumping water from these famous rivers, this area needs permanent protection. The lack of oversight for recreation also results in off-road vehicles running across the landscape, adding to the thousands of cuts that slice this pristine landscape.
The Arizona Republic, Oct. 2013
“About 11,000 people with permits float to or past Echo Park every year. They crane their necks toward the tops of yellow-orange sandstone cliffs touched with blackened patina. Crows gargle out echoing calls, and vultures circle. At nightfall, bats emerging from crevices screech ferociously in a sort of pep rally before the evening’s insect hunt. It’s a place that feels separate from the world of man.”