“...We can show the men who trained at Camp Hale our thanks and respect by protecting this place that is so important to Colorado’s history and the history of our armed services.”
Denver – Today, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel editorial board endorsed Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s effort to make Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range a national monument. Last week, Bennet, Colorado U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, and Colorado U.S. Representative Joe Neguse urged President Joe Biden to use his Presidential authorities, including the Antiquities Act, to designate Colorado's Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range as the Camp Hale - Continental Divide National Monument and protect other landscapes included in the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act, including the Thompson Divide and the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
Bennet has worked on the CORE Act with Coloradans for over a decade to protect over 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado, boost the state’s economy, establish new wilderness areas, and safeguard existing outdoor recreation opportunities for future generations. As Bennet, Hickenlooper, Neguse, and Polis continue to fight to pass the CORE Act through Congress, they are urging the administration to take swift action and protect these landscapes for future generations.
The full editorial is available HERE and below.
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: Editorial: Make Camp Hale a monument
Camp Hale outside Leadville was used during World War II as a training area for the 10th Mountain Division, with members of that division fighting in key battles in the war and afterwards helping establish the ski industry in the state. It is past time to protect Camp Hale by designating it a National Monument.
Most of the men who were training at Camp Hale and fought bravely to defend the U.S. and Europe in World War II have passed away. If this historic place isn’t made a National Monument soon there won’t be any left to see it protected.
Last week, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse were joined by Gov. Jared Polis in writing to President Joe Biden to ask him in part to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the Camp Hale area and acreage on the Tenmile Range as the Camp Hale — Continental Divide National Monument, according to reporting by The Daily Sentinel’s Dennis Webb.
Outside the valley floor where the soldiers were housed, the Army used the mountainous terrain to train soldiers for winter warfare, and generations since have recreated in the same landscape. Protecting this area has been something in the works through the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, which has passed in the House of Representatives multiple times but has yet to clear the Senate.
The bill would withdraw about 200,000 acres in the Thompson Divide area from future oil and gas leasing, provide wilderness or other conservation designations for other lands from Colorado’s central mountains to southwest Colorado, formally designate the boundaries of the long-existing Curecanti National Recreation Area west of Gunnison, and establish Camp Hale outside Leadville as the nation’s first National Historic Landscape.
“This legislation has been built from the ground up with years of dedicated stakeholder engagement and enjoys bipartisan support,” the letter to Biden says. “Regrettably, progress in Congress has stalled despite strong support in Colorado. The time has come to take the next step in protecting the key landscapes within the CORE Act and we need your help.”
We have written in support of the CORE Act before and we still think it should be passed. That said, the Senate has not been able to come together to get this legislation onto the president’s desk. Since Biden can protect this historic area without the need of new legislation, we believe the time has come to do so.
Notwithstanding, there are other aspects of the CORE Act that should continue to be pursued. It may take passing the various aspects of this legislation in a more piecemeal fashion, but it should not be abandoned.
While that hard work continues, we can show the men who trained at Camp Hale our thanks and respect by protecting this place that is so important to Colorado’s history and the history of our armed services.
Make Camp Hale and the surrounding landscape a National Monument this year.