Bennet, Gardner Applaud Committee Approval of West Fork Fire Station and Peak Naming Bills

Bennet-led, bipartisan bills would assist southwest Colorado, honor legacy of distinguished mountaineers

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed two bills led by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and cosponsored by U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) that would improve safety in southwest Colorado and honor the legacy of two distinguished Colorado mountaineers, Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff. Companion bills introduced by Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO-03) have passed the House of Representatives.

“We are pleased with the approval of these bills—which, in distinct and significant ways, will benefit the southwest Colorado community—and we will continue to advocate for their passage in the Senate,” Bennet said.

“These two bills clearing another legislative hurdle is great news for Southwest Colorado,” Gardner said. “They will have a positive impact on our region, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Bennet and Congressman Tipton to get them signed into law.”

The West Fork Fire Station Act would convey about four acres of Forest Service land to Dolores County for the location of a new fire station. Without a station, fires pose a greater threat to the West Fork community, and homeowners are unable to purchase insurance. Building a fire station would decrease response times to emergency calls, reduce the financial burden on the region’s other emergency responders, and provide a staging area to respond to wildfires.

The Fowler and Boskoff Peaks Designation Act would name two Colorado mountain peaks in honor of distinguished mountaineers Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff, who died in a 2006 avalanche while attempting to summit Genyen Peak in Tibet. Over the course of their outstanding climbing careers, Fowler and Boskoff summited several 26,000-foot mountain peaks, including Mt. Everest. Fowler, who was known in southwest Colorado for building climbing walls in schools, received the Robert and Miriam Underhill Award for outstanding mountaineering achievement from the American Alpine Club in 2004. Boskoff, who was one of the world’s most accomplished American female mountain climbers, contributed countless hours to non-profit organizations that supported the rights of porters and Sherpas, women’s education, global literacy, and gender equality.

Statements from Bennet and local stakeholders on the West Fork bill are available HERE and on the Peaks Designation bill are available HERE.