Biden, Vilsack designate Colorado’s Camp Hale as national monument
|President Biden, accompanied by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, on Wednesday designated Camp Hale, a World War II military installation that was used to train the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, as the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument.|
Political analysts have said the designation of 53,804 acres of rugged landscape was also an election-year gift to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who is in a surprisingly tight re-election race.
In a news release, the Agriculture Department noted that the lands are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and that Biden used authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.“
Camp Hale and the 10th Mountain Division are unique in our military history. The men and women who served and trained in this beautiful but punishing landscape made sacrifices for our country and made their mark on the history of the free world,” Vilsack said in the release. “The stunning Camp Hale and Tenmile landscape is a recreation mecca where visitors enjoy alpine hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, camping and more – it is an honored obligation for us to protect this treasured piece of our national heritage.”
“This area was also home to the Ute people long before recorded history, and their unique cultural perspective and historical knowledge is critical to ensuring that we maintain this area’s many priceless characteristics for generations to come,” said Vilsack.
Bennet said in a news release that he had led the effort to protect Camp Hale for years.“This is a historic day for Colorado,” said Bennet in his remarks at Camp Hale. “With this designation, Mr. President, you offer [the service of the veterans of the 10th Mountain Division] the dignity of public remembrance. You safeguard this place and its history, not only for them, but for America. And you ensure that, years from now, we can bring our grandkids here and tell them the story of the 10th Mountain Division and their contributions — not only to Colorado, but to humanity. And for that, Mr. President, Colorado will be forever grateful.”
–The Hagstrom Report