WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Veterans, Out of doors Recreation, Conservation, and Native Colorado Leaders Applaud President Biden’s Designation of Camp Hale – Continental Divide Nationwide Monument – CEQ

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Last week, President Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protect, conserve, and restore our country’s iconic outdoor spaces and historical sites for the benefit of future generations. In addition, the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior (DOI) announced a proposed withdrawal to protect the Thompson Divide in western Colorado, one of the state’s most cherished landscapes.

A broad coalition of veterans, outdoor recreation, equity, conservation, local Colorado leaders, and others applauded the designation. The new Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument honors our nation’s veterans and Indigenous people while supporting jobs and America’s outdoor recreation economy. 

See below for what they’re saying:

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet: “I can think of no better choice for President Biden’s first national monument than Camp Hale-Continental Divide. This designation will permanently protect Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range, the iconic site where the 10th Mountain Division trained to fight in World War II and later returned to found much of Colorado’s ski industry. With every passing year, there are fewer World War II veterans who trained at Camp Hale left to tell their story, which is why it is so important that we protect this site now. This designation and the administration’s efforts to protect the Thompson Divide enjoy broad, bipartisan support from Coloradans, and testify to the hard work of local leaders and groups, who have worked for years to preserve this vital part of our history and our landscapes. I am grateful to President Biden for answering Colorado’s call to honor our veterans, safeguard our wildlife and public lands, and strengthen our outdoor recreation economy.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper: “Camp Hale is being protected thanks to the efforts of 10th Mountain Division veterans and local Coloradans who want to see these historic, breathtaking lands protected for generations to come. From the beginning, Senator Bennet’s CORE Act has been about helping communities protect their public lands. Today’s designation continues that effort.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair, House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands: “For over a decade, Colorado’s mountain and rural communities, small businesses, recreation groups, ranchers, and conservationists have worked together in an effort to protect our public lands, honor the legacy of Camp Hale and secure outdoor recreation opportunities. Today, I join with all Coloradans in applauding President Biden’s decision to name Camp Hale as this country’s newest national monument. Today’s decision will ensure that his treasured landscape is protected for generations to come. Camp Hale has always held a special place in our state’s history, from the important role it played globally during World War II to the way in which it helped grow our ski and outdoor recreation industries. And from this point forward, not only will this landscape and treasured public lands be cemented into the American story, but so will the storied history and sacrifices of the 10th Mountain Division.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Colorado Governor Jared Polis: “Protecting the hallowed training ground and birthplace of the 10th Mountain Division celebrates Colorado’s contributions to the war effort and the proud service of our ski troopers. Veterans of the 10th Mountain Division helped found our modern ski industry leading to Colorado’s rise as a world-class ski and outdoor recreation community. As a long-time supporter of honoring our veterans and preserving these lands, I know firsthand that there is significant and strong local support for this designation to preserve our public lands so I applaud President Biden for taking this action. This is a big win for Colorado public lands, and outdoor recreation and ensures the important history of Camp Hale and the 10th Mountain Division will be honored for future generations.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, Chair, House Natural Resources Committee: “I applaud President Biden for using his authorities under the Antiquities Act to designate the first new national monument of his presidency. With its rich cultural and natural history, Camp Hale is worthy of the honor. I also want to congratulate my colleague Congressman Neguse, Chair of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, for his tireless work on the CORE Act to similarly recognize the nationally important landscape at Camp Hale and help protect the ranching heritage of the Thompson Divide. For over 100 years, places like the Grand Canyon have been protected by using the Antiquities Act. I encourage the president to consider other special places that could benefit from the same protections, including those named in widely supported bills that have passed the House numerous times. National monument designations are about more than just protecting natural resources—they help protect nearby communities from destructive development and lift up the stories of diverse perspectives.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Colorado Congressman Jason Crow: “As a veteran and Coloradan, I’m proud to celebrate our new national monument at Camp Hale-Continental Divide. Grateful to @POTUS for honoring U.S. veterans & the legacy of indigenous communities. We must continue to protect the incredible landscapes that make our state great.” [Tweet, 10/12/22]

Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture: “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. 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.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Vail Mayor Kim Langmaid: “The Vail community is very excited about this designation. Camp Hale is a prominent cultural landscape that connects with our ski history. We also appreciate the President’s recognition of the diverse local stakeholders who support the designation, and the ecological restoration of the Eagle River headwaters and surrounding mountain wetlands.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Frisco Mayor Hunter Mortensen:“The mountains between the historic Camp Hale and the peaks of the Tenmile Mountain Range are a vital part of our community. The creation of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument shows a commitment to protect our public lands. This designation not only shows our commitment to our rich history and the lands that have lasting impact on our collective story, but also to all of the groups that came together to make a public lands plan that gave everyone a voice. Today is a day to celebrate our lands, our history, and our future.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula: “With the designation of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, President Biden has protected the Tenmile Range – a scientific and geographically interesting and beautiful area our visitors and community members love. In fact, the most hiked peak above 14,000 feet in Colorado, Quandary Peak, is located in the Tenmile Range. Bringing additional resources to the Tenmile Range will help preserve the scientific importance of the area and make it more resilient so that future generations can enjoy it as much as those of today.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Avon Mayor Sarah Smith-Hymes: “Camp Hale has long been a touchstone for veterans and the surrounding mountain communities, a stirring reminder of the contribution our local landscape made to the battle for freedom in World War II. Future generations will thank all who worked so hard to preserve this unique public asset. This designation honors the legacy of the Tenth Mountain Division, protects the headwaters and wetlands that feed the Eagle River – the primary water supply for Eagle County and a tributary of the Colorado River – and recognizes the value of outdoor recreation to our local and state economy. It’s a great day for all of us!” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Laurie Simonson, City Administrator, Leadville, Colorado: “The City of Leadville, with a population of 2,731 people, is a small but tough community located at the top of the Rocky Mountains. I write today to support your designation of Colorado’s Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range as the Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument. Leadville and Lake County’s economies are largely dependent on our adjacent public lands, and the protection of these natural places, such as the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, is key to maintaining our outdoor recreation and tourism economies.” [Letter, 10/11/22]

Elisabeth Lawrence, Summit County Commissioner:“The designation of a Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument is an important tribute that celebrates mountain communities’ role in helping the entire nation through World War II with the help of the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops that trained at Camp Hale and the surrounding Ten Mile Range. Establishing these areas as a National Monument will bring great benefits to our Western Mountain communities and is an important step towards providing our Western communities with a bright future while honoring the past.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Greg Poschman, Pitkin County Commissioner and 10th Mountain Division descendant: “President Biden’s designation of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide is a unique and powerful tribute to those who served our country in World War II, then came home to lead our outdoor preservation ethic, and to build America’s skiing and outdoor recreation economy. For Coloradans and for all Americans, these are the sources of our clean air and pure water, and they are the wellspring of our inspiration, identity and history. These iconic areas are most worthy of conservation. We thank President Biden for taking action to protect this important place. We also ask President Biden to go “all in” for all the public lands designations in The CORE Act on which we have all worked so hard for the past decade. This would send a strong message that our President is “all in” to support Colorado!” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Kathy Chandler-Henry, Eagle County Commissioner: “We are thrilled with the new monument designation for Camp Hale-Continental Divide in Eagle County. This monument will honor the service of our veterans from the 10th Mountain Division who trained at Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range, served our nation with distinction in World War II and returned home to help found Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy. This national historic landscape will receive the protections it deserves through this monument designation, assuring it will be enjoyed and serve as a place of respect for generations to come.” [Statement, 10/12/22] 

Colorado State Senator and Granddaughter of 10th Mountain Veteran Kerry Donovan: “What a day yesterday in CO! Thank you @SenatorBennet for being a champion for our public lands. And thank you @POTUS for recognizing this special landscape high in the Rockies as a place to be protected “for the ages.”” [Tweet, 10/13/22]

Colorado State Representative Dylan Roberts: “Today is a great day for Colorado. Thanks to this executive order and the voices of Coloradans across the Western Slope, cherished landscapes in Eagle and Summit Counties as well as the historic Camp Hale will be protected for generations to come. This action will protect world-class recreation opportunities for biking, hiking and hunting that power out local economies. I’m grateful for the work of Senator Bennet and Congressman Neguse to get this done, and I’m excited that President Biden has acted on our recommendations from Democrats, Republicans, and Independent officials and residents across our region to protect these beautiful public lands.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Carbondale Mayor Ben Bohmfalk: “I’m honored to serve a community of ranchers, outdoors recreationists, hunters and anglers, and conservationists who have made protecting the Thompson Divide a core Carbondale value for years. While we advocate for the passage of the CORE Act in Congress, I’m thrilled to see President Biden and his administration acknowledge the value of this special place and the hard work our community has put into advocating for its protection.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Janessa Goldbeck, CEO, Vet Voice Foundation: “We want to offer our sincere thanks to President Biden, Secretary Haaland, and others in the administration who made this designation a reality. Few places epitomize the connection between Veterans and our nation’s public lands quite like Camp Hale, a former training site for the U.S. Army – most notably for the 10th Mountain Division – where Soldiers learned to fight in cold weather conditions. After World War II ended, some of those very same Veterans returned to these areas and helped launch the ski industry and modern outdoor recreation economy of Colorado. This is a campaign we’ve been working on for years alongside our fellow Veterans on the ground in Colorado and here in Washington. Beyond the President and his administration, we also want to thank Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Governor Polis, and Congressman Neguse for their unwavering commitment to championing the creation of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument — a place every American will now be able to enjoy for generations to come.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Dom Mullins, Army Veteran and Mountaineer, 10th Mountain Division: “Camp Hale deserves the highest level of protection and support that the executive branch can offer through use of the Antiquities Act. I cut my teeth on the trails and mountain range surrounding Camp Hale, before approaching some of the tallest mountains in North America and the world. As a site that symbolizes the beauty, industry, innovation, and military and physical prowess of the United States, Camp Hale should be persevered as a national treasure for future Americans to enjoy.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Nancy Kramer, President, 10th Mountain Division Foundation: “As the daughter of a medic who trained at Camp Hale, I know how meaningful this national monument designation is to the families of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers. We’re so grateful that their legacies will be preserved in this landscape for future generations to learn from and enjoy.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Brad Noone, Combat Veteran, 10th Mountain Division: “Our public lands and waters located within the CORE Act, including Colorado’s Camp Hale and the surrounding areas once used as training grounds, define our country, and it is what I fought for and am still fighting to defend. Much of the nation’s—and specifically Colorado’s—ski industry stemmed from World War II veterans who were trained there. Taking skills learned on public lands and giving them back to the general public in a continued service that lives on through today. President Biden’s designation of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument honors generations of veterans.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Anna Peterson, Executive Director of The Mountain Pact, and granddaughter-in-law of a 10th Mountain Division Trainee:“We are beyond thrilled that President Biden has designated the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument! This designation honors Colorado’s military legacy and the history of Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division, a unique and powerful tribute to those who have served our country. The Antiquities Act conserves vital places so our stories can be told and experiences can be shared for generations to come.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Jimi Shaughnessy, Veterans Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran: “As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, I along with my veteran comrades know the value our national parks and public lands provide. The designation of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument demonstrates that we are valued too. We put our life on the line to protect these lands, so to see ourselves and our stories reflected and now permanently protected here is wonderful. Thousands of soldiers trained at Camp Hale, pushing themselves through grueling conditions day in and day out, and eventually fighting in some of the toughest terrain during WWII. Now, visitors from across the country and across the globe can visit this place and learn about the Camp Hale soldiers who sacrificed so much for our country and democracy.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Teresa Martinez, Executive Director, Continental Divide Trail Coalition: “For time immemorial, the Continental Divide has been a place for people to connect, explore, and live in one the most vibrant, natural landscapes on the continent. The action taken by President Biden today will ensure that the stories and cultures of this land will be preserved for the next generation to learn from and continue to build Colorado’s legacy as a leader in the stewardship of these special places. Future management of Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range has the potential to act as a model for what community-led, cooperative stewardship of a National Monument looks like under the Biden Administration, and we could not be more excited to engage in that shared work alongside great partners like Senator Bennet and other Colorado leaders.” [Statement, 10/12/22] 

Judy Fox-Perry and William Perry, Thompson Divide Area Ranchers: “As ranchers whose livelihood depends on public lands in the Thompson Divide, we are very excited to see President Biden recognize the importance of this incredible landscape. For over a decade, local communities in and around the Thompson Divide have collaborated to fight against oil and gas development because we understand the tremendous value this landscape holds for our agricultural and rural economies and wildlife habitat. We are glad that the President understands this, and we’ll continue our efforts to protect this extraordinary place in every way we can.” [Statement, 10/12/22] 

Kelly Nordini, CEO, Conservation Colorado: “This is big! We have been working for over a decade with bi-partisan community supporters for the permanent protection of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide area. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and Congressman Joe Neguse have done Colorado proud with their leadership to protect these landscapes for generations to come. Thank you President Biden for making this your first, of hopefully many to come, monument designations that protect the places people love and boost local economies.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Jennifer Rokala, Executive Director, Center for Western Priorities: “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. It’s a welcome sign that the president is listening to Westerners who want to see public lands and landmarks protected for future generations.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Maite Arce, President and CEO, Hispanic Access Foundation: “We applaud the administration’s action to designate Camp-Hale Continental Divide as a national monument. It is important to make progress towards protecting more historically significant sites that are sacred to local communities. A National Monument at Camp-Hale provides an opportunity to explore and further understand this complex history of segregation and help heal wounds of the past as we look toward a more inclusive future of our special places. In recognizing the complex history of Camp Hale, we, as a nation, create space to learn of the historical exclusion that occurred at this site and recognize the voices of today’s communities reflected and shared. As we celebrate the designation, it’s important to build on its momentum and continue to support community-led efforts to designate National Monuments that are centered in voices of the communities.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters: “President Biden designating Camp Hale-Continental Divide as the first national monument of this administration and additional protections for the Thompson Divide are big victories for Colorado and the country. The extensive history of the military and outdoor recreation industry, along with vital ecological resources and wildlife habitats in the region are worthy of permanent protection. LCV appreciates the tireless leadership of local advocates and officials as well as Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Governor Jared Polis, and Congressman Joe Neguse. We hope this is one of many new national monuments in the near future and look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to protect additional lands and waters across the country.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Theresa Pierno, President and CEO, National Parks Conservation Association: “Our national parks and public lands tell the stories of the places Americans have fought and of what we have fought for. Today, Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument joins the likes of Valley Forge and Fort Monroe as a place that commemorates those who have served in uniform. This designation honors today’s veterans while preserving the history of the Camp Hale soldiers, who fought so heroically for our freedom. NPCA has long supported preserving our important military stories, and we commend President Biden for recognizing the importance of Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range and taking this bold action. With today’s designation, we not only celebrate our country’s newest national monument, but we also celebrate an important conservation law that has protected some of our country’s most beloved places like the Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty and Bears Ears. Nearly every President has used the Antiquities Act to protect sites that are the fabric of the American story and experience. Camp Hale-Continental Divide is now part of that history.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Diane Regas, President and CEO, Trust for Public Lands: “For generations of Americans, our national monuments have been treasured places that preserve our country’s rich natural, cultural and historic resources. Trust for Public Land today celebrates President Joe Biden’s decision to create the Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument. Camp Hale has a rich history as the training ground for the storied 10th Mountain Division, with members of that division fighting in key World War II battles and then returning home and playing prominent roles in establishing the ski industry that today so defines Colorado. This is a legacy that deserves to be remembered, celebrated, and protected. Our national monuments and other public lands serve as fulcrums of history, family and ancestry. By protecting special places, like Camp Hale and Colorado’s Tenmile Range, we are deepening our shared connection to the land, and in turn, building and honoring those that came before us. Without the leadership and the community of those in Colorado, Camp Hale would not be given this permanent protection. The story of Camp Hale deserves and needs to be told. The designation of our nation’s newest national monument is a testament to the dedication and persistence of Colorado leaders like U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Representative Joe Neguse and Governor Jared Polis, and numerous other local, county and state leaders who have long advocated for full protection of this nationally significant landscape. TPL is proud to have joined them in this mission.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman, Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council: “By preserving these areas of cultural importance to the Ute people, you are reflecting the significance of Native people and tribal nations to the history and progress of this country. In the days ahead, we look forward to consulting with your administration and federal agencies on the protection, preservation, and eventual co-management of these important cultural resources.” [Letter, 10/7/22]

Manual Heart, Chairman, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe: “Designating these valuable places as national monuments will not only preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations, but it will allow a greater understanding of the history of these places and the value they have for Coloradans. This designation will serve the best interests of all citizens.” [Letter, 10/7/22]

Keegan Young, Executive Director, Colorado Mountain Club: “The Colorado Mountain Club has been a long-time supporter of protection for the lands around Camp Hale and the Continental Divide. The area holds significant historical value to the state and nation, and continues to provide world-class outdoor recreation opportunities for the public. The Continental Divide Trail, climbing crags and backcountry ski slopes allow users to explore and connect with this scenic and symbolic landscape.  We are so grateful for the work of the Biden administration to ensure this place is protected.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

David Page, Executive Director, Winter Wildlands Alliance: “As one of the birthplaces of modern backcountry skiing, Camp Hale and the surrounding Tenmile Range is hallowed ground. The historic importance of the camp and its veterans to backcountry skiing and winter mountaineering cannot be overstated. This National Monument designation will protect a living cultural history for present and future generations of Americans, who will now and forever be able to ski and climb in the skin tracks of their heroic forebears.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Jamie Williams, President, The Wilderness Society: “By designating the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, President Biden has protected an important historic World War II era military site and training grounds – places that tell heroic stories of this nation. These areas along the Continental Divide have helped shape what became the outdoor recreation industry. The surrounding mountains provide world class outdoor recreation opportunities and important wildlife habitat. The majority of the Colorado’s congressional delegation, Governor Polis, local elected officials, nearly 9 out of 10 Coloradans, businesses, ranchers, sportsmen and many others have been working over the past several years to protect these cherished places.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Gwen Lachelt, Executive Director, Western Leaders Network: “President Biden preserved both history and public lands today by designating Colorado’s Camp Hale-Continental Divide as his first national monument. The Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, which includes the Tenmile Range, is historically, economically and environmentally significant to Coloradans, and we applaud President Biden for using the Antiquities Act to secure protections for these lands that support our local economies and wildlife, and once served as a training ground for our World War II veterans. Executive action such as this conserves public lands for all Americans to enjoy, protects biodiversity, and helps advance our national climate goals, so today’s designation is a victory that can be celebrated nationwide. This monument designation is a much-needed first step to protecting these lands, and we hope that Congress can ultimately come together to secure further protections for the area by passing the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Chris Winter, Executive Director, Access Fund: “Camp Hale National Monument secures both sustainable climbing access and long-term conservation—a winning combination for health and wellness, our economy, and our environment. Access Fund will continue to make sure that this new monument is protected for future generations and that all of us can sustainably access and enjoy these public lands.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Brian Sybert, Executive Director, Conservation Lands Foundation: “President Biden’s inspiring action is a powerful tribute to those who served our country and honoring them through the conservation of public lands is an invaluable contribution to the health of our country. It will forever remind us of the sacrifices fellow Americans are capable of making to protect freedoms we all enjoy, including the ability to recreate and seek solace on public lands. By highlighting the stories of heroism, stewardship, and tragedy of places like Camp Hale-Continental Divide, we can begin to heal our social divides. President Biden can continue to bring all Americans closer together by using the Antiquities Act as a tool to increase the places that better reflect the stories about who we are as Americans, so that we can relate and feel pride in our shared histories. Looking forward, the Conservation Lands Foundation understands that all Americans will benefit as President Biden continues to use the Antiquities Act to protect many more natural and cultural landscapes.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Cassandra Carmichael, Executive Director, National Religious Partnership for the Environment: “The designation of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument enables us to be good stewards of the land and provides an opportunity to increase access to public lands, particularly for traditionally excluded communities. We hope that in preserving the story of Camp Hale, with its history of both heroism and exclusion, we lift the service countless soldiers gave their country and also pave a path towards a more inclusive future.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

David Wiens, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association: “IMBA thanks President Biden for protecting some of the most iconic and cherished Mountain biking experiences in the country through the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. The new monument’s rich history can be experienced through treasured riding opportunities within the boundaries of this protected landscape. These include, among others, more than 20 miles of the Colorado Trail, a favorite of local and visiting day riders and long distance bikepackers alike; and the Wheeler Trail, the quintessential backcountry stage of the world renowned Breck Epic MTB stage race.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Jennifer Mason, Executive Director, Colorado Snowsports Museum: “The Colorado Snowsports Museum is thrilled that Camp Hale is being designated as a National Monument. This designation will forever preserve Camp Hale, meaning future generations will know the significance and legacy of the 10th Mountain Division and the role they played in World War II. This site hopefully will become an outdoor museum in a place where the story will continue to be told.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Colorado Mountain College: “A momentous event! @cmcpresident Carrie Besnette Hauser & #Vail mayor/CMC faculty Kim Langmaid were present as @POTUS designated #CampHale as a national monument. Camp Hale was an Army training facility built in 1942 and served as training grounds for the 10th Mountain Division.” [Tweet, 10/13/22]

Christy Goldfuss, Senior Vice President for Energy and Environment Policy, Center for American Progress: “Camp Hale-Continental Divide is more than worthy of President Biden’s first national monument designation. The proclamation honors those who served our country in World War II, while preserving the area’s wilderness characteristics, wildlife, and outdoor recreation economy. The Thompson Divide mineral withdrawal also offers immediate protection from future oil and gas leasing and certainty for the surrounding community. The protections outlined in the CORE Act have languished in Congress long enough. Today’s executive actions move the needle forward to conserve places that local communities and stakeholders across Colorado have worked to protect for more than a decade. These protections are strongly supported by Coloradans, and bold action to conserve U.S. public lands is unquestionably supported throughout the country. Today’s actions represent a welcome step toward meeting the president’s commitment to address the nature crisis. The Biden Administration should continue answering the call from local communities around the country to protect their treasured natural areas.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Louis Geltman, Policy Director, Outdoor Alliance: “Camp Hale and the Continental Divide are home to world-class outdoor recreation, with long ridgeline technical traverses, challenging backcountry ski terrain, and world class mountain biking. As the home of the 10th mountain division, Camp Hale was a part of the development of many modern climbing techniques. The new Camp Hale National Monument honors American heroes as well as America’s human-powered recreation culture, and we are grateful for President Biden’s action to protect this area.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Taylor Luneau, Policy Director, American Alpine Club: “The American Alpine Club applauds the work of Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, Representative Neguse, Governor Polis and President Biden to conserve the unique and historic landscape of Camp Hale in Colorado. The Camp Hale National Monument honors the military history of the 10th Mountain Division, as well as protects essential conservation values of the region and countless outdoor recreation opportunities. As climbers and mountain enthusiasts, we further celebrate the conservation of this landscape for its ties to the development of modern climbing techniques and as an important extension to public lands in Colorado.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Monumental SHIFT Coalition: “The Monumental SHIFT Coalition is writing in support of Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument designations submitted by Congressional Leadership and the Governor of the State of Colorado. Monumental SHIFT is a coalition rooted in ethnically and racially diverse leadership transforming the traditional creation, conception, funding, and stewardship of national monuments in the United States in order to better represent and honor lands and places sacred to the communities which we represent. The support demonstrated in communities across Colorado and the urgency by which Colorado leaders are advocating for this designation are clear examples of the urgent action needed at this moment.” [Letter, 10/11/22]

Teresa Ana Martinez, Chair, Board of Directors, The Next 100 Coalition: “The Next 100 Coalition is writing today to share our support for Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument and to urge President Biden and his administration to take immediate action to protect this Colorado landscape. This area has been at the center of a grassroots conservation effort for over ten years, has the support of Colorado leadership including Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, Representative Neguse, and Governor Polis, and will support progress toward the ambitious goals of the 30 x 30 and America the Beautiful initiatives.” [Letter, 10/11/22]

Aaron Leonard, Military Outdoors Campaign Manager, Sierra Club: “The outdoors can provide critical therapeutic and healing benefits for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress and other combat-related trauma. With the designation of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, many more veterans will be able to receive those benefits in a place with historical significance to our community while honoring their service to this country. Veterans have played a large role in developing America’s outdoor recreation industry, and Camp Hale is a hallmark of that. Once used for military alpine training, this historic site can now be used for veterans and their families to recover, heal, and recreate for generations to come.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Auden Schendler, Vice President of Sustainability, Aspen Ski Company: “Aspen Ski Area was founded by 10th Mountain Division veterans who trained at Camp Hale and fought in World War II. President Biden’s designation of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument is important to protecting this place that was the birthplace for Colorado’s ski industry that we are lucky to be a part of today. We owe these veterans everything.” [Statement, 10/12/22] 

Mike Murray, Chair, Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks: “We thank President Biden for designating the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument and ensuring its protection for the enjoyment of future generations. The stories and experiences of the U.S. Army’s famed 10th Mountain Division, who trained at Camp Hale and distinguished themselves in combat during World War II, are important pieces of our nation’s history. Many ski troopers returned to Colorado after the war and were instrumental in the development of the Colorado ski industry. By designating this site a national monument, the President has helped to ensure these stories will live on. This national monument designation will also help protect the beautiful landscapes and wildlife habitat of the Tenmile Range and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The President’s action brings us one step closer to meeting the goals laid out in the America the Beautiful initiative – to conserve 30 percent of our country’s lands and waters by 2030.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Ellen Montgomery, Public Lands Campaign Director, Environment America Research & Policy Center: “We’re thrilled to celebrate President Biden’s first national monument and look forward to celebrating more. Camp Hale-National Divide is a perfect monument – amazing scenery, plentiful wildlife, important national historical significance and tied to Colorado’s thriving ski industry. Thanks to Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper for all of their hard work to make this happen and for protecting more nature for Americans.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Patagonia: “Thanks, @POTUS, for designating Camp Hale–Continental Divide as a national monument.” [Tweet, 10/12/22]

Kevin Webber, CEO, Carboy: “We’re living in a time of both unprecedented challenges to our environment and natural landscapes, but also great opportunities. The designation of Camp Hale and the Continental Divide as a National Monument is an investment in preserving our way of life in Colorado. These protections will open opportunities for locals and tourists to explore, protect greenspace for wildlife habitats to thrive, and provide a glimpse into the historical importance of the 10th Mountain Division. By protecting the Divide, we are dreaming big for the future generations who will get to learn, live, and recreate in these special places, and we are thrilled that Colorado has great leaders like Senator Bennet and others in Congress, who are dedicated to making that dream a reality.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Lorna Reed, Owner at Reedesign LLC: “As I enter my thirtieth year in the Colorado outdoor and hospitality industries and my 65th year living in a land free of tyranny of fascism, I know I owe each of these blessings in my life to WWII Tenth Mountaineers. These are men like my father (85E, Silver Star and Purple Heart) who trained at Camp Hale for 18 months in extreme experimental high altitude mountain warfare, shipped off to Italy to push back the Nazis…and returned home with a love of the freedom enjoyed by Americans and the freedom of the outdoors. This is hallowed ground and I am grateful to President Biden for protecting this important place as a National Monument to our veterans and those of us lucky enough to enjoy this state and this nation today.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Trevor Hubbs, Armed Forces Initiative Coordinator, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: “Camp Hale is an essential piece of U.S. military history, but one often forgotten outside of Colorado. Camp Hale is where the Army’s first Mountain Unit was born and where what would be called the 10th Mountain Division, a light infantry division, trained for insertion into the European theater of WWII. The creation of the 10th Mountain was dependent on the volunteerism of American outdoorsmen and women who could thrive in the high alpine conditions in which they would be asked to fight. Hunters, trappers, skiers and mountain climbers all were brought together — following the submission of no fewer than three letters of recommendation each — to be invited to train with the 10th. Camp Hale was specifically built to train these volunteers for an alpine mission in northwestern Europe. That mission came in the mountains of northern Italy where the 10th was sent to clear Nazi outposts that had stymied U.S. advancement for months. The reputation of Camp Hale’s training and of the 10th Mountain’s ability in the alpine space is so renowned that the 10th was the first and last combat division asked to take on the mountains of Afghanistan.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Olivia Juarez, Public Land Program Director, GreenLatinos: “The Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument establishment gets America one step closer to 30 percent protected lands and waters by 2030. We applaud President Biden for this move that will benefit many generations of people to come who will be protected from water pollution and degradation of the landscape.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Michael Freeman, Senior Attorney, Earthjustice, Rocky Mountain Office: “The Biden administration is showing exactly the kind of courage this country needs by moving to protect over 200,000 acres in the Thompson Divide. The local community has worked tirelessly for over a decade to stave off oil and gas development and permanently protect wildlife, recreation, and ranching in this region. This is a critical step toward ensuring these public lands do not succumb to the same destruction that so many of our other treasured places have.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Lydia Parker, Executive Director, Hunters of Color: “We celebrate President Biden’s decision to designate Camp Hale-ContinentalDivide National Monument today protecting this historic site and majesticlandscape for generations to come. We also congratulate President Biden on hisfirst new national monument designation. We hope this is the first of many moreto come. Communities of Color in Colorado and across the country are too often deniedaccess to the majestic outdoor spaces that make our country rich and beautiful.By expanding our national parks and monuments, we expand access to thesecommunities.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Jen Clanahan, Colorado State Director for Mountain Mamas: “Mountain Mamas are thrilled with the National Monument designation of Camp Hale and Continental Divide Trail. We are so grateful to President Biden for listening to the will of the people of Colorado who have been asking that these areas remain intact for future generations to enjoy as we do today. A huge thank you to Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, and Congressman Joe Neguse for their tireless efforts to protect these special places. Camp Hale and the Continental Divide Trail provide outdoor classrooms that give our kids the experiential learning moms so value. They can explore, learn history and ecology and enjoy all the benefits of outdoor play.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Aaron Kindle, Director of Sporting Advocacy, National Wildlife Federation: “For over a decade, a broad, bipartisan coalition of Coloradans have urged the conservation of Camp Hale and the Thompson Divide to honor military veterans and to safeguard important wildlife habitat. Hunters and anglers understand well that we are not making new habitats and that the best way to maintain our sporting traditions is to keep these important landscapes and healthy habitats intact. I’m glad our congressional leaders and the Biden Administration understand these realities and continue to champion efforts to conserve and maintain the best habitat in Colorado.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Robin Knox, President and Board Chair, Colorado Wildlife Federation: “Designating the Camp Hale National Monument will preserve the legacy of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, safeguard wildlife habitat in the upper Eagle River watershed, expand opportunities for hunting and fishing, and provide an economic boost for rural communities in Colorado. We are grateful for the collaboration and leadership that made this designation possible so that a broad array of wildlife species, including trout, elk, bear, and mule deer, will thrive for generations to come.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

Marcia Argust, Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts, U.S. Public Lands and Rivers Conservation Program: “We commend the administration for designating the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument—and announcing future protections for the Thompson Divide. Widely supported by veterans, Colorado residents, and local businesses, these actions are necessary to safeguard areas of significant historic, cultural, and ecological values within existing public landscapes. For over a decade, Coloradans have been working to protect these public lands. President Biden’s actions will honor the World War II veterans of the 10th Mountain Division, conserve critical wildlife habitat, grow the outdoor recreation economy that supports local communities, and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.” [Statement, 10/12/22]

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