Camp Hale: First Historic Landscape?
CORE Honors 10th Mtn Legacy
As Ski Cooper’s recent expansion of skiable terrain marks a new chapter in the mountain’s 21st-century history, its 20th-century heritage is making news back in the nation’s capital. And while it can be challenging to keep up with what’s important between the shouting headlines and talking heads, Leadville Today brings you a legislative update that could impact things in Lake County’s backyard.
In late October the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (“CORE”) Act (H.R. 823) which is a significant step toward protecting approximately 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado – including historic Camp Hale. While the legislation has cleared the House, projections from the Senate indicate a bit of a stall, particularly from Sen. Cory Gardner (CO-R).
Closing ranks along party lines, the Senator is likely to support his Republican Congressman Rep. Scott Tipton who voted against the measure, expressing concerns about CORE not including enough land from Colorado’s western slope, which represents a majority of Colorado’s Third Congressional District including Lake County.
“Since first coming to Congress, I learned how bipartisan support, compromise and broad local consensus have always been the driving forces behind public lands bills,” said Tipton. “In years past, the Colorado delegation has worked together in crafting public lands bills that balance the unique needs of our state including responsible energy resource development, increasing demand for outdoor recreation areas, and protecting forests and wildlife in delicate ecosystems. The CORE Act encompasses many of these aspects, but in its current form the bill has not adequately incorporated the necessary feedback from the Western Slope communities which the bill predominately impacts.”
Leadville residents – particularly the history buffs – should understand that the passage of CORE would also designate the first-ever National Historic Landscape around Camp Hale to preserve and promote the 10th Mountain Division’s storied legacy. Specifically, the bill designates 28,728 acres surrounding Camp Hale 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.
On the other side of the aisle, one of the legislation’s primary carriers, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (CO-D) stated: “The CORE Act was developed by Coloradans and the House of Representatives heard their voices loud and clear. For nearly a decade, county commissioners, businesses, bikers, hikers, sportsmen, and conservationists in communities across our state spent night after night working together to iron out their differences to protect some of our most cherished public lands. What they had in mind was something special for the next generation of Coloradans. Now that the House has done its job, it’s time for the Senate to take up the CORE Act. Colorado has waited long enough.”
More recently, reports from the nation’s capital indicate that Sen. Gardner will not support the legislation, making him the first Colorado Senator to not support a Wilderness Bill in over 40 years. According to legislative monitor GovTrack, the bill currently stands a 57% chance of passing.
It’s worth noting that during the development and initiation of this legislation, not one representative from Leadville or Lake County was reported to have participated. Residents can read Sen. Bennet’s complete press release which includes specific letters of support from neighboring counties and organizations.
Contact Your Representative
For residents wanting to make sure that your voice counts back in Washington, D.C., here are the links and resources to connect with to learn more. Then stay tuned to Leadville Today to see if the bill dies or thrives!
- Senator Michael Bennet
- Senator Cory Gardner
- Congressman Scott Tipton
Ski Cooper: By The Numbers
As Leadville’s ski hill kick-off it’s full-on 2019/20 season this weekend, Leadville Today brings you a Ski Cooper “By The Numbers” report. These statistics came directly from October’s Community Day meeting. So if you’re wondering how many people it takes to keep the operations running smoothly, or want to find out the degree of slope in the Tennesee Creek basin terrain then read on! Then get out on the slopes and start tallying your own numbers: number of ski days, number of runs in one day, number of apres-ski beers, number of people you brought with you to Ski Cooper!