Letter Follows House Passage of CORE Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and John Hickenlooper (D) sent a letter to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) formally requesting the committee hold a hearing on the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, their legislation to protect over 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado and grow the economy.
“The CORE Act was crafted by Coloradans over the last decade to conserve 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado,” wrote Bennet and Hickenlooper in the letter. “During the 116th Congress, the CORE Act received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and passed the House twice. Last month, the CORE Act passed the House for a third time and Coloradans are eager for the Senate to consider this bill.”
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CORE Act for the third time after Bennet, Hickenlooper, and the entire Colorado House Democratic Delegation led by Colorado U.S. Representative Joe Neguse reintroduced the legislation in the Senate and House last month. Last week, Interior Nominee Deb Haaland announced that the Biden Administration supports the CORE Act during her confirmation hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hickenlooper sits on the committee and asked Haaland to support the bill.
Bennet and Neguse introduced the comprehensive CORE Act for the first time in January 2019, following years of work in Colorado to develop, draft, and negotiate the four individual titles in the bill. The House passed the bill twice during the 116th Congress, and Bennet secured a hearing on the bill in November 2020. The CORE Act combines four previously introduced Colorado public land bills, which have been in development over the past decade: the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act, the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act, and the Curecanti National Recreation Area Boundary Establishment Act.
Of the land protected by the bill, about 73,000 acres are designated as new wilderness, and nearly 80,000 acres are designated as new recreation and conservation management areas that preserve existing outdoor uses, such as hiking and mountain biking. The bill also includes a first-of-its-kind designation for Camp Hale as a National Historic Landscape, to honor World War II veterans and Colorado’s military legacy, and prohibits new oil and gas development in areas important to ranchers and sportsmen in the Thompson Divide.
The CORE Act is supported by a broad coalition of counties, cities, towns, local leaders, conservation groups, sportsmen, and a wide range of outdoor businesses.
The following CORE Act resources are available below:
See frequently asked questions, maps, letters of support, and more at www.bennet.senate.gov/COREAct.
The full text of the letter is available HERE and below.
Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso:
We respectfully request that the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources schedule a legislative hearing to consider S. 173, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (“CORE”) Act. The bill was introduced on February 2, 2021 and referred to your committee.
The CORE Act was crafted by Coloradans over the last decade to conserve 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado. The bill includes four distinct titles: Continental Divide, San Juan Mountains, Thompson Divide, and the Curecanti National Recreation Area, which reflect local recommendations for the management of public land in each region. The bill proposes new wilderness and special management areas, protects public land important to ranchers and sportsmen, and includes a first-of-its-kind National Historic Landscape designation for Camp Hale to honor Colorado’s unique military history. It enjoys the full support of seven affected counties, many cities and towns, local leaders, and a wide range of interests – from mountain bikers to ranchers, and hikers to hunters.
During the 116th Congress, the CORE Act received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and passed the House twice. Last month, the CORE Act passed the House for a third time and Coloradans are eager for the Senate to consider this bill.
Thank you for your consideration.