STATEMENT: Coloradan Congressional leaders introduce federal bill to protect public lands

Media Contacts

DENVERThe Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE Act) was reintroduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Joe Neguse. 

The CORE Act would establish protections for more than 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado including areas near the Continental Divide, the San Juan Mountains, the Thompson Divide and the Curecanti National Recreation Area. A broad coalition of county commissioners, hunters, anglers, mayors, conservation nonprofits, veterans, business owners — as well as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis — has expressed support for the bill . 

In Oct. 2022, President Joe Biden designated Colorado’s Camp Hale-Continental Divide, an area previously included in the CORE Act, as a national monument. The president also initiated a process to protect the Thompson Divide from oil and gas drilling for the next 20 years.


In response to this announcement, Environment Colorado’s Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery issued the following statement:

“The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act has support from across our state because Coloradans — and the millions of outdoors enthusiasts who visit our state each year to ski, hike, fly-fish, raft and experience nature — love our public lands. We are thrilled that our leaders have reintroduced this legislation, which will designate more recreation areas and more wilderness areas in our state. For example, the CORE Act will protect beautiful high country areas such as Ice Lake Basin and McKenna Peak in the San Juan Mountains from mining and development so that wildlife can thrive and the public can enjoy nature. Colorado has rightfully built a reputation as a nature lover’s paradise. The CORE ACT will make sure that remains the case both now and in the future.”