Bennet Continues to Push for Longstanding, Widely-Supported Colorado Public Lands Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet called for the U.S. Senate to include the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act in the Great American Outdoors Act, a historic public lands package that would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and reduce the public lands maintenance backlog. The CORE Act is a combination of four longstanding public lands proposals that would protect over 400,000 acres in Colorado, establishing new wilderness areas and safeguarding existing recreation while building the economy for future generations.
“Similar to our effort to fully fund LWCF, the CORE Act is more than a decade in the making and deserves full consideration in the Senate,” said Bennet. “The Coloradans who wrote the CORE Act have worked tirelessly to protect public lands for future generations and preserve outdoor recreation, a vital part of our state’s economy. This week, we have an opportunity to secure new protections for public lands in Colorado that were left out of the public lands bill Congress passed last year. I am calling on my Senate colleagues to include the CORE Act in this public lands package, or to quickly pass the CORE Act on its own in the weeks ahead. It is past time for this longstanding Colorado priority to become law.”
“Senator Bennet has always stood tall on public lands issues. He has been a supporter of full and reliable funding for the LWCF since 2010. The CORE Act also showcases his commitment to Coloradans, local communities and public land owners. The CORE Act is a collection of locally vetted and sensible land protections that safeguard local economies and use of lands in Colorado for the long-term and are of a benefit to all Americans. These lands belong to the people and these protections will create an enduring and thoughtful conservation ethic to benefit generations to come. Gunnison County thanks Senator Bennet for his continued effort to pass the CORE Act this Congress,” said Jonathan Houck Gunnison County Commissioner.
“Colorado wants the CORE Act. Colorado needs the CORE Act. This pandemic has demonstrated again how critical our wide open outdoor spaces and quiet places are for our health and well-being. San Miguel County thanks Senator Bennet for being a long and loyal supporter of public lands protections here and across Colorado and appreciates this latest effort to pass the CORE Act,” said Hilary Cooper, San Miguel County Commissioner.
The text of the CORE Act amendment is available HERE.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to begin consideration of the Great American Outdoors Act, which includes long-standing Bennet priorities to fully fund LWCF and invest in our public land management agencies. Bennet is an original cosponsor of the legislation.
The CORE Act, first introduced by Bennet in 2019, looks beyond LWCF to build on Colorado’s public lands legacy by establishing new wilderness, recreation, and conservation areas, including the first-ever National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale.
The CORE Act is the product of over a decade of work by Colorado counties, businesses, recreation groups, sportsmen, and conservationists to hammer out compromises and develop a balanced, broadly supported public lands bill. Bennet and Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO-2) introduced the CORE Act in January 2019 with the support of counties, cities, towns, local leaders, conservation groups, sportsmen, and a wide range of outdoor industry businesses. It quickly gained momentum in the House, with a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in April, and later passed out of committee in June. The CORE Act passed the full House of Representatives in October with bipartisan support.
Prior to its passage in the House, Bennet pushed to include the CORE Act in the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act in February 2019, but it was not included. In September 2019, Bennet sent a letter to Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) requesting the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hold a hearing on the CORE Act. However, no further action has been taken. The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate.
CORE Act House and Senate Bill text, a fact sheet, frequently asked questions, updated maps, letters of support, and more are available at www.bennet.senate.gov/COREAct.
CORE Act b-roll and other media resources are available HERE.