Letter: Sen. Gardner should also vote ‘yes’ on CORE Act
Earlier this week, Sen. Cory Gardner had a column in the PI that outlined why he voted “yes” for the National Resources Management Act, a broad-sweeping public lands package that protects more than 2.3 million acres of public lands across the U.S., and delivers several other important victories for their funding and management. With Gardner’s help and the bi-partisan support of his congressional colleagues, the bill successfully passed the Senate and the House this month.
While the passage of this legislation is a huge win for public lands and all of us who cherish them, the bill unfortunately did not include any provisions to protect Colorado public lands. While I applaud Sen. Gardner for voting “yes” for this extensive package, I ask him to take his stewardship a step further and also champion the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act. This legislation was introduced in January and provides Colorado with the most significant and comprehensive opportunity to safeguard our revered landscapes and support our outdoor recreation economy in over a generation.
The CORE Act proposes to protect over 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, by uniting four iconic Colorado landscapes into a single bill — including the Continental Divide, Thompson Divide, the San Juan Mountains and Curecanti National Recreation Area. Each of these areas boast diverse support from local constituencies including local governments, businesses, recreation and sportsmen groups and conservationists. The bill’s protections include establishing new wilderness areas, safeguarding big game habitat and existing outdoor recreation opportunities, protecting ranching operations and hunting from oil and gas development, and creating our nation’s first National Historic Landscape to honor Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division and the birth of the U.S. ski area and outdoor recreation industry.
As a former Air Force officer and co-chair of the Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, I am hopeful that the CORE Act will pass Congress this year, with full, bi-partisan support of Colorado’s senators and representatives. Sen. Gardner, please take a stand for our great public lands estate and vote “yes” for the CORE Act.
Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers