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I support the initiative led by the Outdoor Industry Association and more than 100 businesses to ask President Barack Obama to designate 1.4 million acres of federal wildlands around Canyonlands National Park as a national monument.

Last spring, with a friend I visited Canyonlands and Arches national parks.

Although I travel a lot around Europe, Latin America and Asia, it was the first time I experienced such a unique landscape of utmost beauty. Standing at Mesa Arch at sunrise with the arch glowing orange above miles of canyons opening deeper and deeper into Earth's center, and the silence, filled me with admiration for forces that sculpted this pristine landscape.

I also saw the fragility of this majestic landscape: oil, gas and potash development pollute soil and water.

The Colorado and Green rivers have decreasing water levels with catastrophic consequences for the parks and the people who depend on the water.

Future generations should be able to admire Canyonlands; therefore, it is essential to protect the lands around it.

When I returned to Europe, my 7-year-old daughter and friends were amazed by my photographs. I promised her a visit to Canyonlands. Several friends plan to visit it in 2013.

Maria Madrid

Brussels, Belgium

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