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Connie Nighswonger (cq) of Mountain Home, Ark. takes a picture of the landscape at Sunset Point in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park one afternoon. Nighswonger said it was her first time in the park and that she and her husband, Dave, were enjoying the beautiful scenery. The park's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly over thousands of years by the action of water and rock scouring down through the rock walls of the canyon. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The same water that formed the canyon is also necessary for its future. The plants and animals in the canyon rely on a steady flow year round as well as occasional peak flows to maintain the ecosystem in the canyon. The Bureau of Reclamation has a number of dams upstream and Gale Norton, The Secretary of the Interior, worked out a deal with everyone involved but environmentalists disagreed with it and the issue is tied up in the courts. (MARC PISCOTTY/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) CQ Connie Nighswonger

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