CORE Act protects public lands, safeguards outdoor recreation, and boosts economy in Colorado
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet called on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to consider their Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act. Last month, the senators introduced their 2023 CORE Act to protect approximately 420,000 acres of public land in Colorado, establish new wilderness areas, and safeguard existing outdoor recreation opportunities to boost the economy for future generations.
“Colorado counties, in close coordination with businesses, recreation groups, sportsmen, and conservationists, worked for over a decade to craft the CORE Act,” wrote Hickenlooper and Bennet. “We respectfully request that the Committee move to consider it.”
In their letter, the senators point to the broad, bipartisan support in Colorado for their bill, including from Colorado Governor Jared Polis, local counties and municipalities, and diverse conservation, recreation, and industry groups.
The CORE Act combines four previously introduced Colorado public land bills, which have been in development over the past decade. Of the land protected by the bill, 71,000 acres are designated as new wilderness, and nearly 80,000 acres are designated as new recreation and conservation management areas that preserve existing outdoor uses, such as hiking and mountain biking. The bill also designates the Sandy Treat Overlook and Tenmile Wilderness in the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, and establishes a permanent mineral withdrawal in areas important to ranchers and sportsmen in the Thompson Divide.
Last year, Hickenlooper and Bennet led the push to establish the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument and secure a proposed administrative mineral withdrawal for the Thompson Divide – critical provisions of the original CORE Act, first introduced in 2019.
The text of the letter is available HERE and below:
Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso,
We would like to thank the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for holding a hearing in the 117th Congress to consider S. 173, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (“CORE Act”). After reintroducing the CORE Act (now S. 1634) on May 17, 2023, we respectfully request that the Committee move to consider it. An identical bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on the same day and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Colorado counties, in close coordination with businesses, recreation groups, sportsmen, and conservationists, worked for over a decade to craft the CORE Act. The bill conserves over 420,000 acres of public land in Colorado across four distinct titles: Continental Divide, San Juan Mountains, Thompson Divide, and Curecanti National Recreation Area. The bill proposes about 71,000 acres of new wilderness, and nearly 80,000 acres of new recreation and conservation management areas.
The CORE Act is supported by: Governor Jared Polis, seven affected counties and 16 municipalities, including the nearby cities of Ouray, Crested Butte, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Telluride, Basalt, Breckenridge, Ophir, Ridgway, Mountain Village, Vail, Snowmass, and the Towns of Frisco and Dillon.
In addition the following organizations also support the bill: Conservation Colorado, NPCA, Conservation Alliance, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, International Mountain Biking Association, TRCP, National Wildlife Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Outdoor Industry Association, Wilderness Workshop, Trust for Public Land, American Whitewater, Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, The Wilderness Society, Roaring Fork Audubon, Roaring Fork Sierra Club, Solar Energy International, Carbondale Historical Society, Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness.
Thank you for your consideration.