The Arkansas River runs through Browns Canyon, and if passed, the bill would declare 22,000 acres of land from Nathrop to Salida a national monument and an additional 10,500 acres as protected wilderness.
Mike Saccone, Senator Udall's spokesman, said the Democrat has been working on this for the past year and a half.
"Over the last 18 months," said Saccone, "[the Senator has] been working side by side with Chaffee County leaders, residents, businesses and other stakeholders to develop legislation to create a Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness area. So, he’s developed this community-driven bill to ensure that future generations like him can enjoy Browns Canyon unique mix of whitewater and wilderness."
Friends of Browns Canyon, a regional group that’s worked to protect the area, says such a move would preserve the land and recreation along the Arkansas for years to come.