DENVER (KDVR) — As Colorado Democrats continue to push President Joe Biden to designate Camp Hale as a new national monument, Republican Representatives are saying the move would hurt the state.
Colorado’s Democratic senators, Democratic governor and Democratic congressman who represent the area asked for Biden to create a Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument through the 1906 Antiquities Act.
The Washington Post has reported Biden will likely designate Camp Hale as the first national monument of his presidency.
The 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army trained at Camp Hale during World War II. The historic site sits above 9,000 feet of elevation between Leadville and Vail along Highway 24.
For more than a decade, Colorado lawmakers have been trying to get the site protected as a national monument in the CORE Act. The bill passed the U.S. House five times but cannot seem to make it past the Senate, which is why proponents believe executive action may be the only way to preserve the site.
“The history of this area, including the role that it played in preparing the 10th Mountain Division for some of the most difficult moments of World War II, makes it the ideal candidate for a national monument designation,” wrote Sens. Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jared Polis and Rep. Joe Neguse in a letter to the president.
On Friday Congresswoman Lauren Boebert penned a letter to the president pushing back against the idea.
“For more than a decade, the CORE Act landgrab has failed to get the support necessary to be signed into law. These defeats have occurred despite proponents changing the name of the bill and Democrats even controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency. Because they have failed to pass a flawed bill into law, extremist environmentalists and out-of-touch Colorado politicians are now asking Biden to circumvent the will of the American people and Congress to lock up hundreds of thousands of acres in Colorado through the stroke of his pen. Local stakeholders have come out in strong opposition to this landgrab as this unilateral designation will kill jobs, harm private water rights, prevent responsible energy production, stop active forest management that will reduce wildfires, and prohibit critical minerals exploration. While proponents of this landgrab talk a good game and have tried to pull the wool over our eyes, at the end of the day, our communities will suffer if Biden capitulates to extremists and locks up our land.”Rep. Lauren Boebert
Local veterans and representatives have also told FOX31 they would welcome the designation of Camp Hale as a national monument.
Colorado Republican Representatives Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck joined Boebert’s call, saying the move would be a “massive land grab” and an “extreme overreach.” You can read the full letter here.