Dominguez Canyon dedication today
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will dedicate the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area at 9:45 this morning, culminating an effort he started in 2008.
Salazar, then a Colorado senator, introduced a measure to establish the conservation area and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area last year. The conservation and wilderness areas were approved this spring as part of an omnibus measure that established 2 million acres of wilderness nationwide.
The 210,000-acre Dominguez-Escalante NCA takes in the Uncompahgre Plateau, which rises from the Gunnison River south of Grand Junction.
The new conservation area is named for the friars who explored the area in 1776 in the name of the Spanish crown.
The core of the conservation area, the 60,000-acre Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area, includes Big and Little Dominguez canyons and their wildlife.
The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area is Colorado’s third such area and is patterned after the nearby McInnis Canyons and Gunnison Gorge national conservation areas, which also include wilderness areas.
Officials with Mesa, Delta and Montrose counties supported the measure to establish the new conservation area.
The dedication ceremony will be at the Gunnison River Overlook on County Line Road.