Dolores River Canyon Country

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Dolores River Canyon Country

Date: 05/23/2023     State: CO     Issues: Mining, National Parks, Oil and Gas, Watersheds     Partner: Colorado Wildlands Project Airport Origin : Grand Junction, CO    


Our overflight provided media and conservationists the aerial perspective of Western Colorado’s Dolores River Canyon Country, an incomparable landscape that could be our nation's next National Monument.

We flew above deep canyons and mesas surrounding this remote area of the Western Slope, which is one of the most important concentrations of biodiversity and wilderness-quality public lands in the US. The region is part of the homeland of the Ute people, and includes many cultural sites and sacred areas. However, the Lower Dolores River and surrounding canyon country are threatened. Increased interest in uranium mining has sparked concerns that new development could reopen a toxic legacy, visible from the scars that dot this landscape.

Conservationists and stakeholders are coming together to find solutions to protect the whole Dolores River Canyon Country, from McPhee Dam to the Utah state line. EcoFlight and our partners are advocating for Colorado US Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper to call on the President to designate this area as a National Monument.

In March of 2023, Senator Bennet also reintroduced legislation to protect 68,000 acres surrounding the Lower Dolores in Southwest Colorado as a National Conservation Area (NCA). This designation would be a benefit to Montezuma, Dolores, and San Miguel counties.

In this time of skyrocketing recreation and increased threats from mining and climate change, the time is now to permanently conserve the Dolores River Canyon Country.

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