Cristina Harmon: Gardner MIA on CORE Act
March 4, 2019
The Natural Resources Management Act, passed by Congress last week, permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund that takes royalties from offshore oil drilling and invests in land and water conservation and protections across the United States. Senators Bennet and Gardner and Rep. Scott Tipton are all to be congratulated on their support of this important conservation bill.
While many public lands protections were included in the Natural Resources Management Act, missing from the package was legislation that would have authorized protections for 400,000 acres of public lands right here in Colorado. Senator Gardner sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and he could have supported inclusion of these lands in the Natural Resources Management Act.
Now introduced as separate legislation, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy — CORE — Act, introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse, is an amalgamation of several public lands proposals, including wilderness, wildlife refuges and recreation areas in Summit and Lake counties. It includes protections for a Camp Hale as a heritage site honoring the training grounds of the 10th Mountain division, 70,000 acres of new wilderness is the San Juan Mountains including Mount Sneffels, Holy Cross, Lizard Head and Eagles Nest, important habitat connectivity and protections.
This is an amazing package of protections for the public lands we love and recreate on and that many in our state depend on for their livelihood. This legislation has already received the endorsement of many stakeholders including backcountry users, hunters, anglers, mountain bike users, veterans, wildlife advocates, Colorado's outdoor industry and many of our political representatives.
In a recent op-ed, Senator Gardner said, "I'll always fight to protect our public lands for future generations of Coloradans to enjoy." It's time to remind Senator Gardner of his support for Colorado's public lands by asking him to support the CORE Act. Rep. Tipton should also be asked to demonstrate commitment to conservation in his home state by voting for this bill.
You can find more information on the CORE Act here: https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2019/1/bennet-neguse-unveil-core-act-to-protect-public-lands-safeguard-outdoor-recreation-and-boost-economy
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Contact Sen Cory Gardner at 970-245-9553, Grand Junction office, or 303-391-5777, Denver Office, and Rep. Scott Tipton at 970-241-2499, Grand Junction office, or 202-225-4761, Washington, D.C., office.