Camp Hale Photo: Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily
Dear Representative Neguse, Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, and Governor Polis,
Congratulations and thank you for all of your efforts and hard work to encourage President Biden to designate Camp Hale as a National Monument. We have been a vocal and active supporter of the CORE Act since its inception as the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness & Camp Hale Legacy Act, appearing at events and speaking in support with current Governor and then Representative Polis numerous times. It is truly amazing to see the history and legacy of Camp Hale conserved and celebrated nationwide.
The designation of Camp Hale National Monument is only the first step of many responsible and necessary actions needed to ensure the area achieves its true potential. Currently, the Camp Hale area is underutilized, undermanaged, dilapidated, and lacks the resources and investment needed to properly manage it. This designation will likely result in an increase in visitation and tourism to experience the historic area and recreate on the public lands; these deficiencies will be amplified.
The lands, trails, river, and wildlife deserve action to ensure Camp Hale is truly a world class experience and sustainable for many generations to come. For Camp Hale to be successful, the following actions must be taken:
- The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District of the White River National Forest must be given the required resources to create a management plan, execute it, and improve, maintain, and manage Camp Hale. Partner organizations such as ours, the Eagle River Watershed Council, and other conservation focused non-profits must be engaged.
- Recreation opportunities, such as trails and trailheads, need to be created to accommodate and manage current use and the predicted influx of visitors to the area and celebrate the history and extraordinary lands in the area. The land, river, and wildlife need this.
- Interpretive signage, educational materials, and interactive connections to the history of Camp Hale need to be funded, created, and managed.
Camp Hale National Monument has the potential to be a world class experience for the thousands that will visit it on an annual basis, celebrating its history and experiencing trails, nature, and public lands encompassing it. It is up to you to ensure this happens.
Please do not take this as just a political win or headline. The real work to ensure Camp Hale succeeds and reaches its full potential rests on the actions that you take next to provide the funding and resources required to manage it.
Thank you for all you have done for our country, Colorado, our community, and most importantly our public lands.
CC: VVMTA Board of Directors