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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Colorado's Black Canyon

Colorado's Black Canyon

Black Canyon of the Gunnison (credit: NASA Landsat-8)

Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison was imaged by the camera on NASA's Landsat-8 remote sensing satellite. The Earth monitoring observatory shows where the Gunnison River sliced through the plateau's volcanic bedrock carving the deep canyon with its sheer black walls. Water raged thought the landscape during the Pleistocene era as glacial meltwaters drained off the central Rocky Mountain's headwaters and flowed into the Colorado River basin.

The Black Canyon was originally designated as a national monument by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 who used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to protect the canyon and surrounding landscapes. Legal challenges opposing his designation went to the Supreme Count where other canyons, including the Grand Canyon's monument designation status, had also been filed. The Court unanimously ruled 9-0 that the canyons were indeed objects of historic or scientific interest and could be protected by proclamation. Many national monuments have been created since this legal precedent using the Antiquities Act to preserve large, intact landscapes. The Black Canyon became a national park in 1999 and its original monument boundaries were expanded.

If you haven't visited one of these special American places, it is time to find a park or monument near to where you live and go there. WHB

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