Bennet, Gardner Work to Protect Land Wedged Between Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapaho National Forest

Bipartisan bill will incorporate land into Arapaho National Forest

Washington, DC - Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner introduced a bill to protect ten parcels within a "wedge" of land between Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapaho National Forest by incorporating the land into Arapaho National Forest. The Arapaho National Forest Boundary Adjustment Act of 2015 will also allow the U.S. Forest Service to acquire land in the "wedge" from interested landowners to preserve the region.

"This landscape attracts millions of visitors annually to Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand County and is also important to the continued protection of the Colorado River headwaters," Bennet said. "By incorporating this land into Arapaho National Forest we can preserve it for future generations and enable the Forest Service to manage the land more effectively."

"Members of both parties in Colorado are used to working together to preserve and protect our lands, and this bill is another example of that tradition," Gardner said. "I'm glad to lead this effort with Senator Bennet, and I'm proud that our legislation has support from the local governments and officials in the area. I'll work to ensure that this bill becomes law so that Coloradans can continue to enjoy the public lands each of us treasures."

The Forest Service currently owns seven of the ten lots that comprise the "wedge." The Forest Boundary has never been adjusted to include them within the Arapaho National Forest because that would require legislative action.

This bill is supported by the Grand County Board of County Commissioners, the Town of Grand Lake, the Headwaters Trails Alliance, and Conservation Colorado, along with all of the affected private landowners. It was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Jared Polis and Scott Tipton. That bill passed the House on April 28th with an over-whelming majority.

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