Browns Canyon Project

Browns Canyon Rafting

HAF, in partnership with ELK took dozens of Hispanic youth whitewater rafting in Browns Canyon.

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains along the Arkansas River, Browns Canyon is a slice of natural beauty featuring critical habitat for wildlife, unrivaled whitewater rafting and an amazing outdoor experience.

In July 2012, Hispanic Access Foundation, in partnership with Environmental Learning for Kids, took over 60 young Hispanics to Browns Canyon for a weekend of camping and whitewater rafting.

This event, as well as a fishing trip scheduled for later in the 2012 summer, is designed to introduce Hispanics to new opportunities and cultivate an interest in conservation, outdoor recreation and leadership. And their leadership is needed.

While Browns Canyon has become a popular destination, the area has been degraded by illegal roads leading to erosion and habitat destruction in one of the country’s last remaining unprotected wilderness areas. The critical habitat for wildlife including Peregrine falcons, golden eagles, great horned owls, bobcats, deer, elk, bighorn sheep and others is threatened. It also endangers watersheds, which are critical in producing clean water.

The effort to afford permanent protection of Browns Canyon as a federally recognized National Monument has picked up steam.

Protection would be provided from development such as logging roads, dams, or other permanent structures; from timber cutting and the operation of motorized/mechanized vehicles and equipment; and, since 1984, from new mining claims and mineral leasing.

Protected Areas help produce clean water by protecting watersheds; provide critical habitat for threatened or endangered species; maintain biological diversity; offer outdoor recreation opportunities; provide scenic beauty; and serve as a spiritual or psychological haven from modern day pressures.

Permanently protecting Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River will preserve this landscape for current and future generations, and allow families like those on HAF’s rafting trip to experience the beauty and scientific benefits for decades to come.

Several of the young people in the group are planning a trip to Washington, D.C., in September 2012 and are hoping to visit with Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), White House staff and Secretary Ken Salazar at the U.S. Department of Interior to encourage policy-makers and the public to join them in championing the protection of Browns Canyon, and all of our parks, rivers and national monuments.


If you would like to help protect Browns Canyon, please contact any of those below to encourage them to take action:

At the State Level

National Level


Start a conversation about this

Email Facebook Twitter Print