Letter to Biden from Bennet, Hickenlooper, Polis and Neguse urges ‘Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument’ creation | SummitDaily.com

Letter to Biden from Bennet, Hickenlooper, Polis and Neguse urges ‘Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument’ creation

New effort follows years of work to create new national historic landscape designation

John LaConte
Vail Daily
From left, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, and U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper gather at Camp Hale Aug. 16. The group is supportive of the creation of a new national monument in the area, which hosted some 14,000 ski troops during WWII.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, along with Gov. Jared Polis and Rep. Joe Neguse, sent a letter to President Biden on Friday, urging the president to create a new national monument at Camp Hale.

National monuments can be created by presidential decree as a result of the Antiquities Act of 1906, and national parks such as Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion and Olympic were first created as national monuments. In 2015, President Obama created the Browns Canyon National Monument in nearby Chaffee County.

The proposed Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument would create a national monument in Eagle County at Camp Hale going across into the Tenmile Range in Lake and Summit counties.

The effort to see the area designated as a national monument follows years of effort to see Camp Hale included in the CORE Act as a new federal land designation known as a national historic landscape.

In July, Bennet received a letter from elected officials on the Western Slope, including Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry, urging the senator to “pursue every available opportunity, legislative and administrative” to create the new Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument through the Antiquities Act.

“This new monument will honor the service of our veterans from the 10th Mountain Division who trained at Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range, served our nation with distinction in World War II and returned home to help found Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy,” the letter said.

A few weeks later, Bennet, Hickenlooper, Neguse and Polis hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at Camp Hale to make Chandler-Henry’s appeal to the Biden appointee.

The letter sent to Biden on Friday references the meeting.

“We appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s recent visit to Colorado to see Camp Hale,” the letter reads. “Based on the overwhelming support expressed at the meeting and throughout the years from local elected leaders, conservation stakeholders, sportsmen, ranchers, business leaders, veterans and the 10th Mountain Division Foundation it is clear that Coloradans across the state support the conservation and preservation of these landscapes for future generations.”

The letter calls Camp Hale an “ideal candidate” for a national monument.

“Specifically, we urge your action under the Antiquities Act to designate Colorado’s Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range as the Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument,” the letter reads. “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.”

This story is from VailDaily.com.

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