Joe Biden To Create His First National Monument

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Politics

President Joe Biden will travel to Colorado on Wednesday to designate Camp Hale, a World War II-era military training site, and the nearby Tenmile Range as America’s newest national monument, bringing more than 50,000 federal acres under a new set of protections that will bar new mining, drilling and other development.Located in central Colorado, Camp Hale is where the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division trained soldiers to ski and rock climb in preparation for deployment to Italy during World War II. The Army shuttered the site in 1965, and it has become a destination for hikers and campers as part of the White River National Forest. Tenmile Range, which runs north to south between the resort towns of Breckenridge and Copper Mountain, is home to more than a dozen high-elevation peaks that served as a training ground for the 10th Mountain Division. AdvertisementBiden will sign a proclamation establishing Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument during a visit to the historic military site on Wednesday, according to a White House official. The site will be managed by the U.S. Forest Service and span nearly 54,000 acres — an area larger than Washington, D.C. Biden previously restored three national monuments that his predecessor dismantled, but this will be his first designation as president. The Biden administration will additionally take the first step on Wednesday toward establishing a 20-year ban on all new drilling and mining activity across an additional 225,000 acres in Thompson Divide, also located in the White River National Forest. The effort comes just weeks after Democratic leaders in Colorado began lobbying Biden to use his executive authority to preserve Colorado lands amid roadblocks to passing a conservation package through a divided Senate. AdvertisementCamp Hale, the former home of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, will soon become part of America’s newest national monument. Glen Martin via Getty ImagesFor years, conservation and environmental groups in Colorado have pushed for more protections to ensure that the preservation of Camp Hale’s history and outdoor recreation opportunities for the public take priority over extractive interests like mining, timber felling and drilling for oil. Nancy Kramer is president of the 10th Mountain Division Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring the legacy of division soldiers. Her father, William Robertson, was a medic in the 10th Mountain Division. “This is going to be one of the more diverse monuments, and I think that’s what makes it really significant,” she said, noting that the camp and the surrounding area are rich in military and Indigenous history, ecologically important landscapes and …

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