Webber: An open letter to Cory Gardner
Special to the Daily
Dear Sen. Gardner:
I am a fourth-generation Coloradan, an avid outdoor enthusiast, and the owner of a small Denver-based business. You are a fifth-generation Coloradan whose family business has operated for over a hundred years. We are lucky to live, pursue business, and have such deep roots in this beautiful state, where we are truly blessed with the ability to enjoy our iconic mountains, forests, plateaus, and wide-open plains that drive our economy and embody the “Colorado lifestyle.”
Our outdoor-centric lifestyle is what has drawn so many to call Colorado home and contribute to our economic success, so as our population grows, the pressure on these precious landscapes increases and it is becoming more important than ever to protect and preserve our public lands.
Your help in the passage of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act would do just that, by offering protections for some 400,000 beautiful acres across Colorado and fostering outdoor recreation in places like:
- Thompson Divide, home to important watersheds, big game hunting, and an aspen grove that’s one of the largest living organisms on Earth;
- Curecanti National Recreation Area that surrounds our largest body of water, Blue Mesa Reservoir, popular with boaters and fisherman;
- The rugged San Juan Mountains that stir the souls of those who just drive through them.
As the Second World War becomes an even more distant memory and with so few monuments to the heroes that took part in it, you have a chance to create the first National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale, the birthplace of the famed 10th Mountain Division and the ski soldiers who played a key role in our victory and whose veterans returned home to launch our nation’s ski industry. It would be a tribute to our history, our soldiers, our wilderness, and our outdoor recreation economy.
The CORE Act is over a decade in the making.
It has been one year since it was introduced in Congress, and after passing the House of Representatives, its future now rests in your hands.
Like so many other small businesses in Colorado, I rely on a healthy outdoor recreation and tourism economy. And as an outdoor enthusiast, I believe our wild and beautiful places must be protected and preserved so future generations can enjoy them as I have.
Coloradans want to see their elected officials represent today’s and future generations of Coloradans by protecting what is truly important to us, our public lands, our economy, and our way of life. I’m also an unaffiliated voter, among the largest portion of voters in Colorado. I don’t vote for parties, I vote for people and on issues. I voted for you in 2014. I will be voting to honor our ski soldiers, and for Colorado’s outdoors in 2020.
Patrick Webber, co-founder, Fourpoints Bar
Patrick Webber is a fourth-generation Coloradan from Evergreen and a former Vail Valley resident who now lives in Denver. He and his brother Kevin co-Founded Fourpoints Bar in 2014 to better fuel their outdoor active lifestyles, and have used their business as a platform to advance conservation initiatives and public land protections. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.