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Wnited States Senate WASHINGTON, DC 20510 November 25, 2014 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: ‘We write to request that the Administration begin the process of evaluating whether Browns: Canyon should be designated as a National Monument by your authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Browns Canyon is located on federal land that the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service manage in Chaffee County, Colorado. We ate strong supporters of S. 1794, which is our legislation to make Browns Canyon a National Monument. We are nevertheless interested in exploring other possible avenues to achieve National Monument recognition for this remarkable area. To that end, community leaders in the area have suggested the possibility of you using your authority to achieve the same goal as our bill in Congress, Our bill would designate nearly 22,000 acres of land on either side of the Arkansas River as a National Monument. This area is a unique natural and economic resource with national significance. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the canyon every year to raft or fish the Gold Medal trout waters of the Arkansas River. The rugged and remote lands to the east feature quiet canyons and rock formations, which provide an outstanding habitat for deer, elk, and bighom sheep and have sweeping views of the Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas Valley. The upper Arkansas River is one of the nation’s most popular areas for whitewater rafting, generating ‘more than $20 million in direct expenditures and $52.6 million for the local economy. The Jandseape supports thousands of jobs, from river outfitters and ranchers to the Main Street businesses of Salida and Buena Vista. Research indicates that a National Monument designation would further stimulate the local economy in the near-and long-term. The current community-based dialogue about how best to protect Browns Canyon began nearly three years ago at the request of local residents and businesses. They asked us to develop a bill after Congress failed to pass any of the previous bipartisan efforts to protect the area. The most notable of these was led by former Representative Joel Hefley and co-sponsored by the entire Colorado delegation in 2006. That bill had a wide base of community support, as S.1794 does today. Over 200 local businesses, many land- and water-based recreation and sportsmen organizations, the Chaffee County Visitors Bureau, the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the Arkansas River Outfitters Association, the Vet Voice Foundation, the Hispanic Access Foundation, and many others support protecting Browns Canyon. The Town of Buena Vista and the City of Salida passed resolutions of support, and a majority of Chaffee County Commissioners support the legislation with its carefully crafted conditions S. 1794 recei Service and the Bureau of Land Management which stated, “we look forward to its passage.” While we remain committed to the legislative process, the gridlock in Congress has stymied this proposal and many others. We feel the future economic benefits of a national Monument designation are significant for the region, and we should not allow Congressional gridlock to deprive Colorado of those benefits. Therefore, we believe it is necessary to begin discussing the possibility of a National Monument designation under the Antiquities Act. As part of this process, we hope that Administration officials can visit Chaffee County to hear directly from Coloradans about the future of Browns Canyon and its value to their community. d a favorable hearing in the Senate, including support from the U.S. Forest swift Sincerely, Mark Udall Michael Bennet US. Senator U.S. Senator CC: The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture ‘The Honorable Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior