President Joe Biden will be visiting Colorado on Wednesday, Oct. 12, a spokesperson for the White House has told CPR News.
While the White House would not confirm the purpose of the visit, two sources familiar with the trip said it would be used to declare Camp Hale a National Monument.
Democratic lawmakers have been urging Biden since mid-August to use the Antiquities Act to create a Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument that would encompass the area where the 10th Mountain Division trained during World War Two and the Tenmile Range.
It’s a move that could also help bolster Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who’s facing a tougher-than-expected reelection race against Republican Joe O’Dea.
Camp Hale had been included in a much larger Colorado public lands bill, the CORE Act, which Bennet, Sen. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Joe Neguse have been trying to get passed. The bill has cleared the House multiple times but has not moved in the evenly divided Senate.
Colorado’s Republican members of congress recently sent Biden a letter urging him not to use his power to increase protections on any of the land included in CORE, writing, “While Camp Hale and our service members that were stationed there made important contributions to World War II, we don’t support the efforts of extremist environmentalists who are seeking to hijack this historic place to create a new land designation.”
The CORE Act does have local bipartisan support; elected officials in counties that contain land in the bill have advocated for its passage.
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