Could the Dolores River be Colorado’s next national monument?

May 31, 2023

The Denver Post editorial board says it’s time to protect the Dolores River and surrounding lands. The Dolores River, located along Colorado’s western border with Utah, is home to important riparian habitat, recreational opportunities, and Native American artifacts and cultural sites.

Colorado political leaders and conservationists are advocating for increased protections for the area. The proposed Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act, which aims to safeguard nearly 70,000 acres of land around the river, has bipartisan support from Colorado leaders including Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, as well as Representative Lauren Boebert. The proposal seeks to establish effective management strategies to prevent land degradation and overdevelopment, but would not include the entire area in need of protection.

In addition to ongoing legislative efforts, there is an opportunity for President Biden to designate the area as a national monument, which could protect an even larger landscape. Such a designation would provide increased protection and allocate additional resources to preserve the landscape. The editorial urges President Biden to consider using his authority under the Antiquities Act to make the Dolores River landscape a national monument, protecting it for future generations.

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Quote of the day

The history of the mountain range and people that were here before farming and ranching is equally important. Knowing the history gives a deeper appreciation and gratitude for where we’re running.”

—Megan DeHaan, Crazy Mountain 100 Race Director, Trail Runner Magazine

Picture this

anta Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Fields of wildflowers paint the hills yellow and orange at California’s Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
Photo by Doug Herrema/@BLMNational

(featured image: Dolores River Canyon, Center for Western Priorities)