One of the main benefits of this project is the preservation of grazing rights for grazers and ranchers. Being a multi-use organization, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must consider alternative proposals to industry. Protecting this landscape as a National Monument limits those proposals, thus strengthening grazers’ rights in perpetuity, along with the rights of local people to hunt, fish, hike, gather piñon and native herbs and continue being stewards of the land for years to come.
Many studies have been done on local communities regarding the economic impacts of federal protection. Such effects are vital for the sustainability and survival of small towns in rural areas, like Conejos County. As a National Monument, this landscape will hold a space on a national platform within the BLM National Conservation Lands. Studies have shown increased economic activities benefiting local business as a result of increased tourism when lands are designated at the national level.
Long-term preservation benefits of Conejos County’s cultural and natural resources do not stop at economics. People who live here, and tribal people who maintain strong connections to the area despite geographical distance, have many untold stories.
Permanent and proper protection of our resources will help tell their stories and strengthen pride around a shared regional heritage for future generations. Sustainable development, through preservation and conservation, is a way we, residents of Conejos County and the San Luis Valley, can help protect our landscapes in perpetuity. Click the tab below to read more about the benefits of a National Monument designation.