Sen. Bennet visits Breckenridge in support of Continental Divide conservation legislation | SummitDaily.com

Sen. Bennet visits Breckenridge in support of Continental Divide conservation legislation

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, right, looks at a map of proposed conservation areas in Summit and Eagle counties at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Bennet announced he would introduce companion legislation in the Senate to U.S. Rep. Jared Polis' bill in the House and partner on achieving federal designation of the new wilderness and other management areas.
Alli Langley / alangley@summitdaily.com |

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet visited Breckenridge on Wednesday, Aug. 19, to learn more about a conservation effort that would create more federally designated wilderness and other conservation areas around the Continental Divide.

Hunters, anglers, outdoor recreationists, small business owners, elected officials, veterans and conservationists met with the senator at Breckenridge Ski Resort to show their support for a Senate companion of the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in the House.

The legislation would safeguard roughly 58,000 acres of land through wilderness and other management designations in Eagle and Summit counties. The areas serve as popular destinations for sportsmen and other outdoor recreationists and provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife and sources of clean water.

The proposal would add new areas to the Eagles Nest, Ptarmigan Peak and Holy Cross wilderness areas as well as establish three new wilderness areas — Hoosier Ridge, Tenmile, and Williams Fork — in addition to the Porcupine Gulch Protection Area and Tenmile Recreation Management Area.

After hearing from about a dozen representatives of various groups involved in creating the legislation, including local mountain bikers, Bennet announced at the gathering that he would introduce a companion bill in the Senate and work with Polis to pass the legislation.

To learn more about the Continental Divide coalition, visit http://continentaldivide.org.

Breckenridge demonstration supports Clean Power Plan, climate action

Two weeks after President Obama announced historic limits on global warming pollution from power plants, a Colorado environmental organization held a demonstration in Breckenridge to show support for the Clean Power Plan and push for climate action.

Organizers gathered near the Riverwalk lawn on Thursday, Aug. 20, gave out popsicles and encouraged passersby to take photos with signs pledging they would take action on climate change.

The new rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, known as the Clean Power Plan, will cut carbon pollution from Colorado power plants 32 percent by 2030 while developing a framework for building a stronger clean energy economy that focuses on solar, wind and energy efficiency.

More than 200,000 Coloradans, along with public health experts, outdoor recreational groups and businesses, submitted comments in support of cutting this carbon pollution.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment executive director Dr. Larry Wolk said, “The EPA listened to Colorado and other states and stakeholders in making needed revisions, providing important flexibility to the states to craft specific strategies to reduce CO2 emissions and the time needed to accomplish the goals.”

Participants at the event called on Colorado’s U.S. Senators Bennet and Gardner to publicly support the final rule.

Send local environment news to reporter Alli Langley at alangley@summitdaily.com.


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