Bennet, Diverse Group of Stakeholders Mirror Historic Rafting Trip, Discuss Public Lands
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and his family took a two day rafting trip on the Green River through Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument as part of their family’s Fourth of July week trip through the Western Slope. Bennet and his family were joined on the river by a diverse group of stakeholders who took the opportunity to come together for a more casual and informal discussion about a variety of public lands and natural resources issues facing the area, the state and the nation.
“Dinosaur National Monument provides an ideal opportunity to experience Colorado's breath-taking and rugged terrain. It was a terrific experience for our family," Bennet said. “The Green River also served as the perfect setting for relaxed and outside the box conversations about balancing the variety of public land and water users in our state and the benefits they bring to our economy.”
The 21 mile trip through class III rapids began at the "Gates of Lodore" and ended at Echo Park, the site of the proposed Echo Park Dam, one of America’s first major environmental debates in the 1950’s. The raft trip mirrored a journey many newspaper editors, elected officials and leaders took down the river at the urging of local outfitters, who were opposed to a proposed Echo Park Dam, which ultimately was not built. More recently, Dinosaur National Monument and the surrounding area have been the subject of an array of public lands policy debates including mineral leasing and endangered species issues.
The trip was led by the owner of Adventure Bound River Expeditions and Chair of Club 20 Tourism Committee Tom Kleinschnitz. Other attendees on the trip included sportsmen, conservationists, officials from the Department of Interior, water experts, and members of the oil and gas industry.