CORE Act: Protecting Public Lands
Camp Hale Among Safeguard Areas
On Monday, Jan. 28, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO-02) officially introduced the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act. The CORE Act protects approximately 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado, establishing new wilderness areas and safeguarding existing outdoor recreation opportunities to boost the economy for future generations.
And while none of the lands fall within the boundaries of Lake County, its geographical proximity and historical significance are relevant to Leadville’s unique connection to Camp Hale (MAP). Specifically, the CORE Act unites and improves four previously introduced bills: the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act, the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act, and the Curecanti National Recreation Area Boundary Establishment Act.
“Coloradans spent the last decade hammering out compromises to develop reasonable public lands bills with broad support. The CORE Act combines the best of those proposals, reflecting their bold vision to boost our economy and protect our public lands for future generations,” said Senator Bennet.
Readers can peruse the bill’s summary and specific text, but close to home, the act includes a first-of-its-kind which will honor Colorado’s military legacy with the Camp Hale Legacy Act. The bill designates 28,728 acres surrounding Camp Hale (MAP) as the first-ever National Historic Landscape. This unprecedented designation speaks to the storied legacy of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Colorado and around the world. The 10th Mountain Division that trained at Camp Hale led our nation to victory in World War II, then went on to create the outdoor industry as we know it today. The National Historic Landscape designation would ensure Camp Hale’s historic preservation, secure existing recreational opportunities, and protect natural resources.
“The CORE Act brings years of local collaborative input to the preservation of our landscapes, wildlife and recreational opportunities to ensure that Colorado’s public lands remain at the center of our economy and are preserved for generations to come,” said Congressman Neguse.
Colorado counties, in close coordination with businesses, recreation groups, sportsmen, and conservationists, helped write each element of the CORE Act over the last decade. Of the land protected, about 73,000 acres are new wilderness areas, and nearly 80,000 acres are new recreation and conservation management areas that preserve existing outdoor uses, such as hiking and mountain biking. For a list of Letters of Support from neighboring counties, connect HERE.
“Colorado has waited too long for Congress to act on their earlier proposals, but the CORE Act presents a new opportunity to make real progress for our state. I’m looking forward to working with Congressman Neguse to move the CORE Act forward,” said Senator Michael Bennet.
Stay tuned as LT follows this important act as it makes its way through the Washington DC legislative beltway.
Camp Hale, Colorado – 10th Mountain Division
A Winter Scene near Leadville Today