I am writing today to thank Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, Representative Neguse and Governor Polis for their support of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act (S. 173) and the strategic push to pursue administrative actions from President Biden that would safeguard these cherished landscapes. An act of Congress would be wonderful, but pressure on these areas calls for expediency. That is why I am joining fellow veterans, our elected officials, and other Coloradans in calling on President Biden to designate a Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument and use administrative actions to protect the Thompson Divide and San Juan Mountains. I’ve lived in Colorado for over fifty years and came here to live the Colorado lifestyle, much of that in the areas of the state relevant to the CORE Act, especially Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range.
As a Vietnam veteran, I have been to the Camp Hale site many times, including on a through-hike of the Colorado Trail. Most of my friends, family, or students who accompanied me knew little or nothing about Camp Hale, the 10th Mountain Division, nor the connection to the Colorado ski industry. However, discussions about them continued long after we drove away. As a former teacher I know that experiences creating that amount of thought and consideration are significant, and worth protecting in perpetuity.
The Tenmile Recreation Management Areas and Wilderness are personally significant because I have owned property in Breckenridge for 32 years, first skied Breck in 1967, and have had a Vail Resorts Epic Veterans Pass since they were created. Summit County is now a world-class, year-round resort area. The public lands that surround the developed areas must be protected and managed wisely so that others can enjoy them for at least as long as I have.
Thank you again to our elected officials for all you have done for people like me who love Colorado as much as you do. Keep up the pressure on President Biden.
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