BLM marks 20th anniversary of establishing McInnis Canyons

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management celebrated the 20th anniversary of establishing a 123,000-acre conservation area in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.

The McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area was established in 2000 and named for Scott McInnis, a former U.S. representative who now serves as a Mesa County commissioner.

“This is a special place for so many people, and its designation exemplifies BLM’s excellence in conservation stewardship,” said Jamie Connell, Colorado state director of the BLM. “It is clear that the local community has immense pride in this national conservation area and without them, its success would not be possible.”

The conservation area offers a venue for biking, hiking and hunting as well as livestock grazing. The area also is home to threatened and endangered species as well as cultural and paleontological resources. The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness in the core of the conservation area offers more than 75,000 acres of red rock canyons and the second-highest concentration of natural arches in North America.

Local partners come to the area to conduct volunteer and youth education programs.

Collin Ewing, manager of the McInnis Canyons, said the area offers a resource. “To me, this area serves as a perfect illustration of the BLM’s multiple-use mission and the critical role that strong local partnerships play in supporting our public lands.”