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I conclude today's diary posting in Colorado:

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall has released a detailed legislative proposal to establish Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Area. The latest step in a yearlong public-engagement process, Udall's proposal reflects feedback from dozens of stakeholders, including business owners, sportsmen, elected officials and recreational groups.

Udall's proposal would protect approximately 22,000 acres along the iconic Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vista. Browns Canyon is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the nation. The regional whitewater sports industry, which includes rafting, kayaking and other activities, accounted for more than $20 million in direct expenditures for a total economic impact of more than $52 million in the Arkansas Valley in 2012. - Summit Daily, 3/31/13

Here's a little more info on Udall's proposal:

Senator Udall says the proposal, still in draft form, will preserve Browns Canyon, create jobs and protect the quality of life in Colorado. “We’ve crafted a balanced proposal that will preserve a remarkable landscape," said Udall. "And it will draw visitors that will boost the economy for what is a treasured part of Colorado.”

The new Browns Canyon National Monument will be situated between Salida and Buena Vista in the heart of Chaffee County. Udall says the land would be jointly managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife through the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

The Senator says there will be little change to access, with most visitors rafting or boating through the new monument along the Arkansas River. They will also be allowed to enter at two existing sites with parking, campgrounds and boat ramps.

Existing use of the area including river running, hunting and angling, grazing and motorized access on all designated roads will not be affected by the proposed designation. "I have spent more than a year listening to stakeholders, and this balanced proposal will preserve this remarkable landscape while also drawing visitors who will boost the economy of this treasured part of Colorado,” Udall says.

As part of the larger Browns Canyon National Monument, areas currently part of a wilderness study area would be designated Wilderness. That adds protections for wildlife, clean air and clean water within the area’s boundaries. - KUNC 91.5, 3/28/13

Udall's efforts are being praised by The Wilderness Society:
“Browns Canyon is a national treasure which deserves permanent protection to ensure the outdoor legacy, recreational opportunities and the local economic growth for the future,” (Ryan) Bidwell (of the Wilderness Society) said. “We applaud Sen. Udall for responding to public comments and crafting a balanced proposal that will allow economically important recreation to continue, while ensuring the area is protected for future generations.” - Summit Daily, 3/31/13
Since congress is on break, Udall also stopped by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Wind Technology Center in Boulder to tout the future of wind power:

Sen. Udal at NREL9.JPG Senator Mark Udall, right, puts on the proper equipment to climb the wind turbine. Matt Brzezinski, left, escorted Udall to the top of the turbine...Colorado Senator, Mark Udall, visited the NREL National Wind Technology Center south of Boulder on Saturday...Udall toured the Siemens Test Wind Turbine at the National Wind Technology Center in Louisville. This event, the first stop on Udall's energy outreach tour of Colorado, highlights how wind energy is creating jobs in Colorado and helping make the United States energy self-reliant. ..Cliff Grassmick  / March 30, 2013..
Wind technology has nearly unlimited potential, and the United States needs a long-term policy to support the industry and keep the county competitive, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall said Saturday during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Wind Technology Center south of Boulder.

Udall's stop at the wind technology center was the first of a yearlong tour of energy sites important to Colorado. Udall called the state's diverse energy portfolio an example for the rest of the nation as it tries to move toward energy independence.

"Colorado is blessed," he said. "We have wind and sun, coal and natural gas."

Saturday's visit also included stops at Boulder's newly renovated eTown studio and at the International Mountain Bicycling Association in Denver.

Udall described the wind technology center south of Boulder, near the intersection of Colo. 93 and Colo. 128, as "a gem."

"I was going to say 'a hidden gem,' and it may be hiding in plain sight," Udall said. "People drive past it and see it, and they might not know the work that is done here." - Daily Camera, 3/30/13

Expect Udall to be making wind power a big issue in next year's election.  By the way, Udall had a great fundraising quarter:

Democrat Sen. Mark Udall raised $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2013, campaign sources said Monday.

This brings his cash on hand total to more than $2.5 million — a formidable pot of cash for the incumbent with no opponent so far.

Udall’s acting campaign manager Michael Sozan confirmed Udall raised “more than” $1.5 million in the first three months from a variety of Colorado and national donors — big and small.

The Denver Post could not independently verify the first quarter totals because the Federal Election Commission gives campaigns 14 days from today to turn in official filings. Sozan said they’re “still opening envelopes with checks” and won’t have the final number of dollars raised until next week. - Denver Post, 4/1/13

If you would like to donate to Udall's 2014 re-election campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 04:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Colorado COmmunity.

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