Located in the high desert canyon country of western Colorado and eastern Utah, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area consists of approximately 123,739 acres of BLM-administered land near Grand Junction, Colorado. Originally known as Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area, this National Conservation Area (NCA) was established on October 24, 2000, and was renamed in honor of Representative Scott McInnis on January 1, 2005. Among its unique natural resources are the more than 75,000 acres of the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, which includes the second-largest concentration of natural arches in North America. Internationally important fossils have been uncovered during more than a century of excavation. Pictograph and petroglyph sites abound, and the Old Spanish Trail, once referred to as the “longest, crookedest, most arduous mule route in the history of America,” runs through the NCA. Today, the NCA is a recreation destination. Visitors are drawn from all over to the opportunities experience the world-class mountain biking and straightforward, scenic river rafting offered by the McInnis Canyons NCA. The NCA benefits from the attention of a vibrant network of people, from historic and current ranching families to the active Friends groups working to protect and support this special place. Traditional land uses such as grazing continue, guided by management to protect the values for which the NCA was established.
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