Campbell secures $20 million for state
GREENWOOD VILLAGE – U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., the sole Appropriations Committee member in the Colorado Congressional delegation, announced that $20 million in federal funds targeted for a variety of Colorado projects.
Funding orders are included in the Senate version of the Interior Appropriations Bill, which passed out of committee and will be debated on the Senate floor in the next few weeks.
Items in the Senate version include:
n $11 million to complete the acquisition of the Baca Ranch and create the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, a 97,000-acre refuge containing wetlands, grasslands and sand dunes that provide critical habitat areas for Colorado’s rarest species;
n The U.S. Forest Service will receive $6 million to purchase the Beaver Brook Watershed, a 5,700-acre parcel, from the city of Golden. Development of the area would have reduced its value as a functioning ecosystem and had an adverse affect on adjacent forest land. Golden must use the proceeds from the sale to improve the city’s water supply and water quality;
n $2.3 million for a conservation easement for the Soap Mesa Ranch located at the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The area is an excellent wildlife habitat, and the easement funded by the Forest Legacy Program assures that the valuable landscape won’t be disturbed in the future. The easement would also allow for further research on the property’s cultural, ecological and historic significance;
n $1 million for the High Elk Conservation Corridor, located in the White River National Forest. The Conservation Corridor connects the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area and the Raggeds Wilderness. The area will provide opportunities for biological research and the thousands of visitors wanting to experience Colorado’s true rugged nature
n $600,000 is in the bill for a Bureau of Land Management land acquisition at the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument and another $500,000 is included for a BLM land acquisition in the Upper Arkansas River Basin.
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