Michael Bennet U.S. Senator for ColoradoMenu
Michael believes protecting public lands and wild places is an integral part of Colorado’s heritage. It’s why he brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in Southwest Colorado to protect the Hermosa Creek watershed in 2014, and why he has stood up for sacred places and critical wildlife habitat across the country, including Bears Ears National Monument and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Michael puts collaboration and local input at the center of his work to protect and improve the management of public lands. In 2017, after consulting with local community leaders, sportsmen, and veterans, Michael introduced legislation to establish permanent protections for nearly 100,000 acres of wilderness, recreation, and conservation areas along Colorado’s Continental Divide—and to create the first-ever National Historic Landscape around Camp Hale. This follows his years of work across the aisle on forward-thinking approaches to improve land management, address maintenance and infrastructure, and successfully fix the Forest Service’s budget by putting an end to “fire borrowing.”
From hiking to hunting, Michael recognizes that outdoor recreation is vital to Colorado’s economy. In 2017, following a request from Michael and other Colorado lawmakers, the Outdoor Retailer Show moved locations from Utah to Denver, in no small part due to the state’s commitment to protecting public lands. As a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Michael has advanced legislation to increase access to hunting and fishing and ensure all communities have the opportunity to explore our public lands and waters.
“This legislation reflects the voices of local community leaders, sportsmen, veterans, and others who sat down with us to find common ground for the management and protection of public lands along the Continental Divide. It reminds us not only to protect public land, but also to preserve its history, which is why the National Historic Landscape designation of Camp Hale is so important. Future generations will be able to ski and hike the same terrain as the veterans who created our outdoor industry.”
In 2017, Michael and Colorado Representative Jared Polis introduced the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act to establish permanent protections for nearly 100,000 acres of wilderness, recreation, and conservation areas in the White River National Forest along Colorado's Continental Divide. Among other measures, the bill would create three new wilderness areas while expanding three existing ones, protect Colorado's only migration corridor over Interstate 70, and secure access to outdoor recreation in the Tenmile Range.
The bill also would designate the first-ever National Historic Landscape around Camp Hale to preserve and promote the 10th Mountain Division's storied legacy. The 10th Mountain Division that trained at Camp Hale led our nation to victory in World War II and then went on to create the outdoor industry, as we know it today. This designation would ensure the historic preservation of Camp Hale, secure existing recreational opportunities, and protect ecological resources with continued cleanup and restoration efforts.
Learn more about the Wilderness and Recreation and Camp Hale Legacy Act from the press release.