Friends of Browns Canyon
The mission of Friends of Browns Canyon (FOBC) is “To protect, conserve, and enhance the ecological and aquatic resources of the wildlands within Browns Canyon.”
FOBC was instrumental in the campaign to gain permanent protection, through President Barack Obama’s 19 February 2015 proclamation (under the authorities of the Antiquities Act of 1906) of Browns Canyon National Monument.
FOBC works on conservation projects in the area now, and will soon embark on assisting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the United States Forest Service (USFS), and Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPW) in developing the Resource Management Plan that will guide management of Browns Canyon National Monument for years to come.
BROWNS CANYON ATTAINED PERMANENT PROTECTION ON FEBRUARY 19, 2015 WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED THE PROCLAMATION CREATING BROWNS CANYON NATIONAL MONUMENT.
Browns Canyon National Monument, including the Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA), covers approximately 22,000 acres of federally- and state-managed public lands in Chaffee County, Colorado. The area consists of the riparian corridor, stunning rock spires, hoodoos, and granite outcroppings. Wooded drainages lead from the river to upland areas covered with aspen, limber pines, Douglas firs, and subalpine grasslands. The variety of terrain in such a small space and relatively low elevation make Browns Canyon National Monument unique among all of Colorado’s protected public lands.
The rural economy in and around the Upper Arkansas Valley relies, in large part, upon existing uses Browns Canyon National Monument. Collectively, hunting, fishing, ranching, and recreation in Chaffee County support a preponderance of jobs and annual economic benefit for our local communities. President Obama’s proclamation protected and memorialized all validated prior uses.
Recognizing the importance of existing uses in the Browns Canyon area, Senator Mark Udall followed previous legislative attempts by members of both parties and proposed the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act in the United States Senate. The Udall bill offered a middle-ground solution, developed from the grassroots up, to Browns Canyon’s future. After intense advocacy efforts, President Obama exercised the authorities given the president by the Antiquities Act of 1906 to proclaim Browns Canyon National Monument on 19 February 2015.
In sum, Browns Canyon National Monument is used for outdoors sports and recreation and agriculture. The rugged nature of most of the terrain renders it unsuitable for development or motorized recreation, but the riparian and upland areas are vulnerable to the forces that would lease them for minerals extraction or sell them for development.