Thank you, Senator Bennet and Representative Polis, for sponsoring the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act. I applaud you for standing up for Colorado values – clean, healthy forests, streams and air.
As a fourth-generation Coloradan, a business owner in Aspen and Vail, and a rancher in Gunnison County, I love the outdoor lifestyle, and vast wild spaces that our state offers and that this bill protects. As a businessman, I support wilderness because I recognize that abundant wildlands, healthy ecosystems and outstanding opportunities to hunt, fish, raft, hike and view wildlife make up the foundation of Colorado’s mountain economies.
This bill offers important protection for threatened public lands, wildlife habitat and water, and would also preserve Colorado’s heritage at Camp Hale. Preserving these places is about as American as you can get. You leave your politics behind when you walk into a wilderness area, race down a mountain side, or hunt your first elk. I urge Senator Gardner to acknowledge that Colorado’s greatest economic asset is its beautiful wild lands, and to join Senator Bennet and Representative Polis in sponsoring this bill.
There is no better time to protect our last wild places because at the rate we’re growing these lands will most likely be flattened, drilled, mined and fragmented soon.