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The Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame in Vail will host a rally in support of the proposed Camp Hale National Monument tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m.) on National Public Lands Day. More details below.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who has worked on the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act for more than a decade, is now pushing hard for President Joe Biden to use the Antiquities Act to declare Camp Hale a national Monument. The CORE Act, which would have protected Camp Hale, has passed the House five times but is stalled by the filibuster in the Senate.
Here’s a press release and video released Friday by Bennet’s office:
Ahead of Public Lands Day tomorrow, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet sent a video message to Coloradans celebrating Colorado’s public lands legacy. Bennet also reiterated his call to President Biden to use his Presidential authorities, including the Antiquities Act, to make Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range a national monument and protect landscapes included in the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act, including Colorado’s iconic Thompson Divide and San Juan Mountains.
“Happy Public Lands day, Colorado! I believe Colorado is the most beautiful state in America – not only because of our beautiful public lands, but our shared commitment to pass them on to the next generation,” said Bennet in his video. “Colorado’s public lands define who we are as a state. They drive our economy, our heritage, and our way of life.”
This week, Bennet delivered dozens of letters from Colorado veterans, state and local officials, conservation and outdoor recreation advocates, business owners, and descendants of the 10th Mountain Division to President Biden in support of the effort led by Bennet, Colorado U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse and Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
Momentum for the lawmakers effort has surged as Coloradans across the state have raised their voices in support. This week, Jason Sewell, a rancher and the fifth-generation steward of Sunfire Ranch, wrote in favor of the lawmakers’ proposed 20-year administrative mineral withdrawal in the Thompson Divide in the Glenwood Post Independent, and Michael Browning, past chair of the Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance, voiced his support for the national monument designation and other public lands protections in the Vail Daily.
Below is the full transcript of Bennet’s video message:
Happy Public Lands day, Colorado!
I believe Colorado is the most beautiful state in America – not only because of our beautiful public lands, but our shared commitment to pass them on to the next generation.
Colorado’s public lands define who we are as a state.
They drive our economy, our heritage, and our way of life.
For the last decade, I’ve worked with Coloradans to write the CORE Act, a bill that would grow our outdoor economy and protect over 400,000 acres of public land – from Camp Hale, where U.S. soldiers trained to become America’s first military climbers and skiers, to the iconic Thompson Divide.
Because of partisan dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, the bill — which an overwhelming majority of Coloradans support — has yet to receive a vote in the Senate.
That’s why I’m asking President Biden to use his authority to make Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range a national monument, and protect other landscapes in the CORE Act.
The CORE Act was written by Coloradans in every corner of our state, who came together to do something special for the next generation.
And we have waited long enough.
So on this Public Lands Day, I hope you’ll get outside and enjoy our Colorado’s treasured landscapes – and also join me in supporting this effort.
Your voices make a difference here in Washington.
Now here’s more from Wilderness Workshop on Saturday’s events and rally at Camp Hale and in Vail:
The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act’s champions (Colorado Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Representative Neguse, and Governor Polis) are urging the Biden administration, through executive action, to advance needed protections for some areas in the bill, including a Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument! The CORE Coalition invites the public to a range of activities on Saturday September 24, listed below, to learn more and show their support.
9:00 a.m. Welcome and acknowledgment of the 10th Mountain Division at the memorial atop Tennessee Pass; then drive to Camp Hale’s main entrance.
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Colorado Mountain Mamas lead a Tyke Hike to climbing areas, a creek, and a waterfall at Camp Hale. Suitable for toddlers and their families.
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join the Continental Divide Trail Coalition at Camp Hale for a moderate, 4-mile Hike to Cataract Falls (starting here). Walk in the footsteps of the 10th Mountain troopers while learning about the Trail and National Monument designation. More information can be found here.
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Walking/driving Living History tour of Camp Hale (starting here). Hear the stories of the WWII ski troopers through the landscape where the US Army once housed 14,000 personnel, 4000 mules, and 250 sled dogs. Hear about daily life, training, and heroic battles while visiting the Fieldhouse, Climbing wall, and Rifle Range.
2:30 p.m. Join us for a rally and press event at the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame in Vail! You won’t want to miss hearing from veterans, elected officials, and other CORE Act supporters. Help us rally for a National Monument status of Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range!
All of these are free events – to help us plan, please register in advance. Additional information will be sent in your confirmation email.