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October 29, 2019 12:39 PM UTC

Trump, Tipton Join Forces To Screw West Slope

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Ernest Luning at the Colorado Springs Gazette:

[Sen. Cory] Gardner hasn’t signed on to a bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, both Colorado Democrats, dubbed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act, or the CORE Act — but he hasn’t said he’s opposed to the legislation, either…

“Coloradans need a senator who will stand up for public lands and listen to local communities,” [former Gov. John] Hickenlooper said in a statement. “I am calling on Sen. Gardner to join me and Coloradans from across our state in supporting the CORE Act.”

Rep. Joe Neguse:


Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez)

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, the unexpectedly “partisan partisanized” standoff over what should have been bipartisan legislation to extend new protections to some 400,000 acres of Colorado land, the CORE Act, escalated dramatically today after President Donald Trump threatened a veto of the bill:

President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday threatened to veto the CORE Act in a statement that said the massive Colorado public lands bill puts the Western Slope economy at risk.

The White House also said that not enough local input has been addressed when it comes to the legislation, which is expected to get a vote this week in the U.S. House.

If the act — which aims to protect about 400,000 acres of public land, including around the historic Camp Hale and along the Thompson Divide — were “presented to the president in its current form, his advisers would recommend that he veto it,” the White House statement said.

As our readers know the shell game over the CORE Act has been going on for some time now, with Colorado Democrats united with local stakeholders in support of the bill attempting to persuade Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Cory Gardner to join them. Republicans have alternated between delaying while they slowly “consider” changes to the CORE Act, and competing legislation introduced last summer by Tipton and backed by Gardner that significantly dimmed prospects of a bipartisan CORE Act at all–and with a divided Congress and a Republican President, a bipartisan bill is the only bill with a prayer.

Politically, this further partisan isolation on an issue that voters on all sides care about isn’t going to help either Tipton or Gardner going into next year’s elections. Just yesterday a new poll was released showing strong public support for the goals of the CORE Act on the Western Slope–voters who are about to be bitterly disappointed by the evening news, as the Colorado Springs Gazette reports:

Of 400 voters surveyed in Congressional District 3 and Chaffee and Fremont counties, two-thirds endorsed the designation of more public lands as wilderness areas, which is one of the aims of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act… [Pols emphasis]

Another finding of the poll, conducted by New Bridge Strategy, is that support for wilderness areas increases among people who participate in more than one outdoor recreational activity. Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats agreed with greater wilderness designations.

At this point, CORE Act supporters need to stake out clearly what they are willing to live with in terms of compromise to get a bipartisan CORE Act back on track. And if the current administration, Republican-controlled Senate, and the incumbent representative of most of the affected lands are determined to forestall the bill Colorado needs, it may be necessary to solve the political problem first.

It looks like in that event, the voters will have Democrats’ back.


6 thoughts on “Trump, Tipton Join Forces To Screw West Slope

  1. Elect a clown, expect a circus. 

    You'd think these esteemed elected representatives dumb clucks could grasp simple math? 

    American West Discovers How to Make Money on the Outdoors: Enjoy It

    Energy towns from Colorado to Montana are putting public lands to new uses—and cashing in on a recreation boom that added $412 billion to the national GDP in 2016, up 15 percent from four years earlier.

    Skiing, hiking and other outdoor pursuits now comprise an industry that contributes more to the national GDP than mining, oil and gas. From fly-fishing guides and resort stays to boot manufacturing and mountain bike sales, the sector grew faster than the U.S. economy in 2016, the latest year data is available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  2. "parks and forests cover the US West…….."  Unfortunately, that map leaves out the recreational and cultural treasures of BLM land. 

    These 2017 national figures from the Outdoor Industry Association show the power of outdoor recreation: $887 billion in revenue; 7.6 million jobs created; $65.3 billion in federal tax revenues; $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenues. Our left friends here on Pols won't like this fact; outdoor recreation is now included in the computation of GNP thanks to a bill sponsored by Cory Gardner and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). 

    Tipton should tread carefully here. Because the CORE Act would create the country's first national historic landscape in Camp Hale, a vote against CORE could be interpreted as a vote against our veterans.

    1. …and until Gardner (using his significant influence with the Majority Leader) gets marijuana removed from Schedule 1, it will continue to be ignored for its contribution to GNP.

      Not only does McConnell oppose the legalization of marijuana at the national level, but he also has the power to prevent it from happening as long as he is the leading swinging appendage of the Senate. He is, after all, the lawmaking gatekeeper to the upper chamber, the keeper of all the keys, if you will, who gets to decide which bills get heard and which get sent to linger in political purgatory forever.

    2. I want to take a moment to note that this issue is one of the few upon which you and I agree, but I very much admire your stand on this. 

      I have often wonderered how clear-cutters, coal diggers, and the "drill, baby, drill" crowd have the temerity to call themselves "conservative"…but I guess temerity comes naturally to the greedy.. Advocacy from folks with your stated political bent is welcomed and appreciated. 

      I guess I just believe that we are going to have to stick together to save our democracy. Common ground may be hard to find nowadays, but on the odd occasion we find it we should try to occupy it for a little while.

      I am not a socialist and you are not a fascist. We can work from there.


  3. Some day abandoned drilling sites and strip mines are gonna’ be huge tourist attractions . . . 

    . . . it’s the kind of thing future generations in a made-great-again America will be clamoring for. 

    . . . these visionaries are just a little bit ahead of their time. 

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