WASHINGTON – A plan to protect about 400,000 acres of Colorado public land passed a committee vote in the U.S. House this week, a key step toward becoming law.
The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act – or the CORE act – was introduced by Colorado Democrats Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse in January. The House Natural Resources Committee passed the bill by a 23-15 vote on Wednesday, It was the first major Colorado public lands bill to pass a House committee in more than a decade, according to Neguse's office. The CORE act will now go to the full House for consideration.
The bill would provide added protection for much of the land included in the plan but also new wilderness areas across 73,000 acres and new recreation and conservation management areas across nearly 80,000 acres. The plan includes permanent protections for nearly 100,000 acres of the White River National Forest, along the Continental Divide, along with protections for areas of the San Juan Mountains and the Thompson Divide.