Mesa County-United States Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton joined dozens of local luminaries in re–dedicating a ruggedly beautiful Grand Valley wilderness as the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, Thursday.
Known as Colorado Canyons Conservation Area since its original dedication in December of 2001, the area is re–named because of the countless hours McInnis put in to protecting the thousands of acres of rugged canyons edging the south side of the Grand Valley.
The longtime congressman is also honored for his efforts in crafting protection for other wilderness areas around the state, while acting as representative for much of western Colorado.
McInnis modestly accepted the designation, making note that such commemorations are usually given to people who have died.
Thursday's re–dedication also presents an opportunity to introduce the Friends of McInnis Canyons, a group dedicated to protecting the natural beauty of the area, while increasing recreational opportunities.
McInnis Canyons Conservation area has thousands of acres of public lands from the western edge of the Colorado National Monument, west to the state line. The area was protected after years of work by a group including ranchers and environmentalists, as well as federal agencies.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Friends of McInnis Canyons, call the Bureau of Land Management at 970-256-1952.
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