Wilderness areas help produce clean water by protecting watersheds; provide critical habitat for threatened or endangered species; maintain biological diversity; offer outdoor recreation opportunities; provide scenic beauty; and serve as a spiritual or psychological haven from modern day pressures.
In addition, Browns Canyon "boasts some of Colorado's most pristine forests, great hunting and fishing habitat, and draws outdoor enthusiasts from across Colorado and the country during nearly every season," said then-Senator Ken Salazar.
Wilderness areas are protected from development such as logging roads, dams, or other permanent structures; from timber cutting and the operation of motorized/mechanized vehicles and equipment; and, since 1984, from new mining claims and mineral leasing.
Mining operations and livestock grazing are permitted to continue in Wilderness Areas if these practices existed prior to an Area's designation.
Hunting and fishing are permitted in Wilderness Areas, though hunting and commercial fishing are not allowed in most national park units, or other places specifically closed to these activities.