Decades of hard work finally came to a happy ending for a group of local citizens in Salida, who fought to protect and preserve Browns Canyon. Today, they can proudly cheer in celebration as last July 18th, Buena Vista community members, elected officials, whitewater enthusiasts and commercial outfitters celebrated the Grand Opening of Browns Canyon National Monument with a dedication at Buena Vista High School.
The designation preserves opportunities for solitude and recreation, including rafting, kayaking, hunting, horseback riding, fishing, climbing and hiking. For environmentalist, local residents and thrill seekers, these are excellent, eagerly waited news.
“I have been working to protect Browns Canyon for over 20 years. It’s great to see this finally happen. We now are able to insure that it is available for our kids and their kids all have the opportunity to experience it as we have.” Said the president of Friends of Browns Canyon, Bill Dvorak in the The Arkansas River Outfitters Association press release.
Browns Canyon of Colorado’s Arkansas River is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the United States. This area allows visitors to enjoy rafting, fishing and wildlife with stunning views of the Arkansas River Valley and offers unique year-round recreational opportunities.
Promising Economic Future
According to Headwaters Economics’ report “The Value of Public Lands: Lessons for Communities & Businesses Around Browns Canyon”, rural areas like the Arkansas River Valley can look forward to significant increases in population, employment, personal income, and per capita income immediately following the National Monument designation within their surrounding areas.
During 2014, approximately 90,000 people visited Browns Canyon on commercial rafts, spending everyday an average of $124 per person, totaling $11.2 million dollars in direct expenditures of to the local economy.
Some consider that with the “Monument” designation, the percentage of use could increase by 20 percent adding another $6 million dollars to the local economy per year.
Join Mile Hi Rafting in celebration of the Browns Canyon National Monument opening and paddle against Arkansas River rapids! Colorado’s Arkansas River has some of the nation’s most exciting whitewater and amazing mountain views and it is just 3 hours away from Denver!
This is an excellent option to enjoy with the whole family. The mountain towns and wilderness areas that lie in and surround the Arkansas River valley are full of great recreation opportunities. Besides rafting, kayaking and canoeing, take advantage of the area’s fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, ghost towns and historic areas.