Chalk Cliffs of Browns Canyon, Colorado. Photo by John Fielder / Friends of Browns Canyon

Last week, President Obama declared three new National Monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act.  The three areas offer a range of of educational, historical and wilderness values.  This announcement will bring the creation of the Pullman National Monument in Chicago, Ill., a site where African-American railway workers won a historic labor agreement, and the Honoliuli National Monument, the largest internment camp for Japanese-Americans and prisoners of war in Hawaii during World War II.  Also included in this announcement is a 21,000 acre parcel of wild land along the Arkansas River in Colorado, Browns Canyon.

For outdoor recreationalists, the victory in the campaign for Monument status for Browns Canyon is the culmination of more than two decades of work to gain permanent protection for this area. Originally proposed as 35,000 acres, the proposal, which includes defined wilderness, was scaled back to ensure feasible management as a BLM National Monument. The Friends of Browns Canyon has been spearheading the effort since chartered in 2003.

This area is not only notable for its renowned whitewater rafting, but also the pristine forests, unspoiled wildlife habitat, excellent rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting and fishing that engage visitors year-round. The land has been managed as a BLM Wilderness Study Area and National Forest Roadless Area for many years.

What do you think about the new National Monuments? Any interest is helping the BLM steward this land on a service project in the coming years? Let us know in the comments section below.

And here’s a way cool graphic of all the new National Monuments over the last few years.

Image courtesy of ThinkProgress