President Joe Biden in Colorado to designate Camp Hale a national monumnet


President Joe Biden will be in Colorado today for the first time since he surveyed the damage from the Marshall Fire in January — and thankfully, it will be under much less somber (though not universally beloved) circumstances.

The president is expected to invoke the Antiquities Act to designate nearly 54,000 of high country near Leadville and Vail as the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. The designation aims to protect and preserve the training ground for the legendary 10th Mountain Division in World War II. Those troops both helped turn the tide of the war and returned to launch Colorado’s ski industry.

The designation, which includes the Tenmile Range, also cites the area’s significance to the Ute Tribes. The U.S. government forced those people to relinquish the area and much of their ancestral homeland in the mid-1800s, according to the White House. It still houses burial sites thousands of years old and remains culturally and spiritually significant to the people.

The White House also cites the area’s ecological diversity and natural habitat in the designation.

The designation will protect existing uses for the area while prohibiting new development there. It will be the first completely new national monument designated by Biden. The U.S. Forest Service will manage the new national monument. It will be tasked with developing resources to educate visitors on the area’s significance and history of the Ute people and the 10th Mountain Division.

“This is great news for Coloradans and military veterans, who called on President Biden to protect this important historical site and the landscape surrounding it,” Center for Western Priorities Executive Director Jennifer Rokala said in a statement after reports of the president’s plan published. “It’s a welcome sign that the president is listening to Westerners who want to see public lands and landmarks protected for future generations.”


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