Letter: Time for Tipton to get behind CORE Act
As a resident of the Eagle Valley and a frequent user of Eagle County’s public lands, I’ve been excited about potential new protections for the Continental Divide as part of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act. I was disappointed to read in the Vail Daily that Rep. Scott Tipton’s new bill does not address these special areas.
Although I appreciate any effort to protect Colorado’s land, Mr. Tipton should instead work to find a compromise with his counterparts in the House and Senate to pass the CORE Act. Mr. Tipton’s legislation already includes much of the CORE Act, with a few glaring exceptions. Most notable for Eagle County is the omission of new wilderness and special recreation areas in the Continental Divide region. His draft does not include protections for Camp Hale, an important landscape that honors the 10th Mountain Division’s contributions to our country and Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy.
Unlike the CORE Act, Mr. Titpon’s proposal ignores years of outreach from his constituents regarding the protection of the Thompson Divide from future oil and gas development. It’s also concerning that the Tipton bill eliminates longstanding protections for roughly 40,000 acres of wild lands in southwest Colorado. Rep. Tipton (and Sen. Cory Gardner) should work with Rep. Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet to make the CORE Act the best bill it can be. The CORE Act came from years of Western Slope collaboration and has the support of 20 local governments, including Eagle County. Mr. Tipton’s bill demonstrates he has some constructive new ideas to add protections for public lands — now it’s time for him to contribute those ideas to the CORE Act and support its passage.