Bennet Applauds House Passage of CORE Act

Celebrates Years of Work by Coloradans, Calls on Senate to Take Action

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (“CORE”) Act (H.R. 823), a significant step toward protecting approximately 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado, safeguarding existing outdoor recreation opportunities, and boosting the state’s outdoor economy:

“The CORE Act was developed by Coloradans and today 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. And today’s vote brings us closer to making their bold vision for our state a reality.

“I’m grateful to Congressman Neguse for his leadership and tireless work to pass the CORE Act in the House. 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.”

Last month, Bennet sent a letter to Chairman Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Joe Manchin requesting the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hold a hearing on the CORE Act.

Support for the CORE Act

The CORE Act enjoys the full support of seven affected counties, many cities and towns, local leaders, and a wide range of stakeholders. A list of support letters is available HERE, and a full list of statements of support from various stakeholders is available HERE.

“Eagle County applauds the passage of the CORE Act in the House of Representatives today. This important public lands bill includes the designation of one of the County’s Crown Jewels, Camp Hale, as a National Historic Landscape. The heroism of the Tenth Mountain Division and their contributions to the skiing world are memorialized in this Act. The CORE Act also preserves important wildlife habitat and the environment in Eagle and Summit Counties.  We are excited about this national commitment to our wild spaces and our heritage. This bipartisan effort has included local input over many years and we are hopeful that this work will result in passage in the Senate as well. Eagle County is grateful to Congressman Neguse and Senator Bennet for their tireless work on the CORE Act.” – Kathy Chandler-Henry, Eagle County Commissioner

“This vote is the culmination of a decade of community dialogue and compromise,” said San Juan County Commissioner Scott Fetchenhier, who also owns and operates Fetch’s Mining and Mercantile Company, in Silverton. “With this milestone, it’s time for the Senate to have a hearing on this bill and move it forward.”

“In Summit County, we are very thankful for the passage of the CORE Act! We have been awaiting federal legislation to protect our lands for over ten years. We thank Congressman Neguse and Senator Bennet for their leadership in protecting our public lands. Our public lands and Wilderness areas help define Summit County and drive our recreation economy. We have waited too long for federal action and we urge our Senators to move this important, beneficial legislation forward for all of Colorado.” – Karn Stiegelmeier, Summit County Commissioner

“It was a good day for public lands in Colorado because the CORE Act finally received a well-deserved debate on the House floor. I am grateful to the leadership of Senator Bennet and our other Colorado representatives, especially Congressman Neguse, who stepped up to protect these special lands for generations to come. It’s time to move this bill forward in the Senate.” – Hilary Cooper, San Miguel County Commissioner

“The people of Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Valley municipalities are thrilled to see the CORE Act pass the U.S. House and we all look forward to having our representatives carry this popular momentum through the Senate. Our extended community has long awaited permanent protections for Thompson Divide through exhaustive and comprehensive negotiations and agreements with all the stakeholders.  We strongly encourage the United States Senate to recognize and celebrate the critical importance of protecting Colorado’s unique public lands for all Americans by voting in support of the CORE Act.” – Pitkin County Commission Chair Greg Poschman

“Gunnison County is happy to see the CORE Act pass out of the House today. For many years we have worked with diverse stakeholders to develop sensible landscape scale protective measures that match our communities values and our desire to see these productive and pristine landscapes thoughtfully protected. We are thankful for the leadership of Rep. Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet and look forward to continued forward progress to see the CORE Act get across the finish line. This legislation will ensure the best protections for these wild and amazing places for generations to come.” – Jonathan D. Houck, Chair of Gunnison County Commission

“As a Commissioner from Ouray County, I am involved in local and state-wide policy discussions for forest health, timber industry, water quality and quantity, fire behavior, fire suppression, fire mitigation and many aspects of outdoor recreation policy. I have carefully considered all of these topics in my own endorsement of the CORE Act. For the past 5 years as a commissioner from one of the counties directly affected by the CORE Act, I have worked every year with my Representative and both Senators to promote the designations contained within CORE Act.  Thank you to Senator Bennet and Representative Neguse for seeing the light shining on these beautiful landscapes, and for seeing the State of Colorado as one functioning landscape, where certain areas deserve and need the protections given by Wilderness designation.” – Ben Tisdel, Ouray County Commissioner


House and Senate Bill text, a fact sheet, frequently asked questions, updated maps, letters of support, and more are available at  

B-roll and other media resources are available HERE.