For Immediate Release 2/25/2015
Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115
Last week, President Obama used his authority under the U.S. Antiquities Act to protect Colorado's Browns Canyon, along with two other sites in Illinois and in Hawaii. This is welcome news for mountain bikers and our outdoor recreation friends within the Outdoor Alliance. IMBA's local members and our partner Salida Mountain Trails have long fought in support of this designation to protect the beautiful river backdrop to one of Colorado's premier mountain biking desitantions, Salida, CO. Importantly, current trails and future trail potential is preserved within the new Monument nestled between the towns of Salida, and Buena Vista.
Mountain biking and white water recreation are important economic drivers in the area. Browns Canyon is the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the country, with year-round recreation opportunities on the river, trails, and crags surrounding the canyon. This landscape has significant value to the Colorado economy. The Colorado River Outfitters Association estimates that commercial rafting generates $60 million a year. The canyon also provides a spectacular close-to-home escape for many Colorado residents for multi sport weekends.
“We are delighted with the designation of Browns Canyon, and grateful that the administration thoughtfully incorporated local perspectives and sensibilities as to the best way to protect it. It’s a place that’s meaningful to many people, and it’s an exciting gateway to our public lands and the experiences they offer." said Adam Cramer, Executive Director of Outdoor Alliance, of which IMBA is a founding member.
IMBA communicated directly with the Obama Administration up until the day of the designation to protect mountain bike access in the monument. “We are interested in ensuring that use of the Antiquites Act results in a win for mountain biking, the conservation values mountain bikers cherish, and the recreation economy," says IMBA Conservation Manager Aaron Clark. "This designation was the result of more than a decade of work on the part of the recreation and conservation community with widespread support in Colorado. Mountain biking was prominently listed in the White House and agency press releases as well as included in the preamble to the proclamation itself." Clark adds, “This proclamation is a win for mountain biking, and we are excited to see that this high level advocacy is paying off and will set the stage for designations down the road.”
Join us in celebrating the permanent protection of this beautiful landscape by sharing the news on Facebook or Twitter.