Several Colorado Democrats have reached out to President Joe Biden and asked him to declare a new national monument in their state.
Two senators, a congressman and the governor from Colorado wrote to Biden on Friday, urging him to give Colorado their 9th national monument. The Colorado Democrats have suggested the heart of the Rocky Mountains, a preserve centered on Camp Hale near Vail, where the 10th Mountain Division conducted training for war in the mountainous terrain during World War II.
If Biden agrees, Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument would be America’s 130th national monument. This would also be the first national monument to be declared former President Donald Trump declared Camp Nelson in Kentucky a national monument in 2018.
“The history of this area, including the role that it played in preparing the 10th Mountain Division for some of the most difficult moments of World War II, makes it the ideal candidate for a national monument designation,” Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jared Polis and Rep. Joe Neguse wrote in their letter to Biden.
The request comes at a time where the progress of a conservation bill, which includes Camp Hale has been hampered. The CORE Act was introduced by Bennet, Hickenlooper and Neguse and Democrats believe the bill would develop Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy and preserve public land.
Colorado Republicans have referred to it as a federal land grab that would hinder the development of critical mineral and energy resources.
“I don’t support the efforts of extremist environmentalists who are seeking to hijack this historic place to create a new land designation,” Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert said in a statement on Friday.
U.S. national monuments go back as far as the early 1900s, and protected areas are now located in 32 states, as well as the District of Columbia (DC) and four American territories. California and Arizona currently have the most national monuments, with 18, according to the National Park Service.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: COLORADO SUN
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