December 05, 2014

Veterans Appeal to President: Make Browns Canyon a National Monument Vet Voice Foundation, Local Vets Attend Salida Public Meeting Saturday

SALIDA, CO – The nonprofit Vet Voice Foundation and local veterans will be sharing their support for protecting Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River as a national monument at a December 6 town hall meeting in Salida. The meeting has been organized by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and is open to the public.   

“Spending time national public lands like Browns Canyon was a critical part of my transition back to civilian life after the stress of war,” Garett Reppenhagen, a former Iraq War sniper and Rocky Mountain Coordinator for Vet Voice Foundation. “Veterans in central Colorado use public lands for the solitude and experiences that help us recover from what we endured abroad and reintegrate into our lives at home.”  

Browns Canyon is located near several U.S. military bases, including Ft. Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Protecting Browns Canyon as a national monument would permanently protect these national public lands – a popular year-round recreation area – and ensure that service members and veterans could have access to the outdoors, can heal from the trauma of war, and reconnect with family. 

“Just as millions of Veterans like me have committed to defending our country for future generations, Congress and the President have a duty to protect our most cherished places for all the Americans that they are expected to represent,” said Nick Morgan, US Army OIF veteran and local business owner. “Being in Browns Canyon not only helped me to heal emotionally, but also reconnected me with the land I swore an oath to protect.” 

Legislation to protect Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River has been introduced in Congress by members of both political parties for more than a decade but has failed to move. Sen. Udall’s national monument legislation – which also stalled in Congress – was a result of extensive community involvement, including public meetings and thousands of comments from a broad cross-section of local businesses, elected officials, outdoor outfitters, sportsmen and veteran groups. The Vet Voice Foundation is joining other supporters in asking the Obama Administration to designate Browns Canyon as a national monument with a presidential proclamation through the use of the Antiquities Act.    

In July, the Vet Voice Foundation ran paid advertising online in support of protecting Browns Canyon as a national monument. 

Vet Voice Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization helping veterans continue to serve their country by speaking out on vital national issues, including clean air and water, public lands and renewable energy.

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