Bennet, Hickenlooper Statement on Dolores Canyons National Monument Proposal

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper released the following statement on the proposal to designate the Northern Dolores Canyons region as a national monument:

“For decades, Coloradans have worked to find a sensible way to protect the Dolores River. Over the last several months, we have spent time in the Northern Dolores Basin and had many conversations about its future.  

“Based on these conversations, it is clear that Coloradans care deeply about this landscape and many want it permanently protected. We also recognize there are legitimate questions and the need for further discussion. 

“We are committed to continuing to work with local leaders, public land users, affected counties, and Tribes to determine the best path. No matter the tool we use to permanently protect the Dolores, we will follow these principles: 

Management: The Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service should continue to manage the federal lands in the northern Dolores landscape as they do now. 

Fees: No one should be charged an entrance fee to access designated lands.

Grazing: Grazing should continue and be managed pursuant to existing laws and regulations.

Motorized Travel/ATVs: The Rimrocker Trail should remain open to motorized and other recreational uses. 

Mountain Biking: Mountain biking should continue with opportunities to pursue new trail development.

Mining: Any designation should protect all valid existing rights.

Hunting/Fishing: Any designation should allow hunting and fishing to continue.

Water: Any designation should protect existing water rights and should not create a federal reserved water right.”