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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Black Canyon

Black Canyon

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, December 19, 2016/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, photography, sustainability, environment, adventure

                      Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, 9-24-13 (credit: NASA Landsat-8)

Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison was photograped by the Landsat-8 Earth-imaging camera. The satellite perspective 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 river during the Pleistocene as glacial meltwater drained off the central Rocky Mountain's headwaters and flowed into the Colorado River basin.

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

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th year anniversary this year. If you haven't gone to celebrate one of these special places, it's time to find a park or monument near you and go.

WHB

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