Sen. Gardner: Please support bill in Congress to honor 10th Mountain Division vets (letter) | VailDaily.com

Sen. Gardner: Please support bill in Congress to honor 10th Mountain Division vets (letter)

Last Thursday, (Aug. 9) Congressman Jared Polis met with Sandy Treat, a World War II veteran and a member of the 10th Mountain Division, at the reopening of the Colorado Snowsports Museum in Vail.

Mr. Treat trained for winter warfare on the rugged, mountainous terrain of Camp Hale, and it was that experience that hardened the men of the 10th Mountain Division and prepared them to fight in the Italian Alps. By protecting Camp Hale and the mountains they trained on, we can honor the legacy of these brave veterans.

Thus, I am urging Sen. Cory Gardner to support, and Congress to pass, the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act, introduced by Rep. Polis and Sen. (Michael) Bennet. The men of the 10th returned home after the war and, with their knowledge and skills, helped to establish America's ski industry. The mountains are as much a part of the history of the 10th Mountain Division as Camp Hale itself.

Preserving this area within the White River National Forest would not only commemorate the special role that the Division played in the Second World War, but also preserve critical wildlife habitat with new wilderness designations and wildlife conservation areas and boost the local economy by expanding the places where people can hike, camp, hunt, fish, bike and ski.

I applaud Rep. Polis and Sen. Bennet for taking a concrete step toward protecting Camp Hale and the Continental Divide. I hope Sen. Gardner will support the legislation and that it becomes the law of the land in 2018.

I couldn't say it better than Mr. Treat himself: "We owe it to ourselves and to the people of Colorado to do it. As we said in the old days, 'git 'er done.'"

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