Letter: CORE Act is common sense
I am writing in response to the guest column published in the Post Independent on May 19, by John Charters and Will Roush, “Colorado has opportunity, challenge to balance demands and values of public lands.”
As a local business owner who recreates on public lands with my family, I commend the authors for highlighting the ever-growing need for collaboration and compromise in protecting the landscapes that we all love and enjoy.
I’ve lived in Carbondale for 22 years, and love our public lands for hunting, biking, skiing and climbing. The wildlands here are also a key part of my business as a photographer and director.
In a political climate that has become so polarized, I often wonder to myself at what point the idea of conserving public lands and keeping them public and available for all to enjoy became such a partisan issue. Conserving public lands and thoughtfully determining appropriate locations for extractive uses, was once a notion that spanned party lines.
Republican Teddy Roosevelt was a great protector of public lands and conservation. Even a concept as controversial as wilderness designation has been championed by every Republican and Democratic Senator in Colorado since the passing of the Wilderness Act in 1964 — until now.
Sen. Cory Gardner is the only Senator in our state since 1964 who has yet to champion new wilderness.
As Charters and Roush mention, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act is the first comprehensive public lands bill in decades to offer a diverse set of land protections and designations that appeal to all sorts of users, from mountain bikers to ranchers, hunters to hikers, and everyone in between. The CORE Act is the culmination of over a decade of work and collaboration among stakeholders from the communities most impacted by this bill.
This common-sense legislation will not only benefit my community and our local economy, but also the statewide economy and all Coloradans. It’s time for Sen. Cory Gardner to stand with his constituents on this issue and support the CORE Act.
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