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PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

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CORE Act Closer to Protecting 400,000 Acres of CO Public Lands

The CORE Act would establish a boundary around the 43,000-acre Curecanti National Recreation Area, making it an official unit of the National Park Service. (NPS)
The CORE Act would establish a boundary around the 43,000-acre Curecanti National Recreation Area, making it an official unit of the National Park Service. (NPS)
June 28, 2019

DENVER – A measure that would safeguard some 400,000 acres of public lands across Colorado cleared a key U.S. House committee this week.

The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy, or CORE Act, would protect roughly 200,000 acres of the Thompson Divide from the impacts of oil and gas and other development – land that rancher Tai Jacober relies on to raise his hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle.

He says by preserving landscapes as they exist today, the act should help the state's farmers and ranchers remain open for business.

"The CORE Act is really an important part of running a ranch in Colorado, because it provides important grazing lands during the summer months that have been relied on for many generations," says Jacober.

The bill's supporters predict it will also boost the outdoor recreation economy by protecting key hunting and fishing areas, and it honors veterans by designating Camp Hale, where the 10th Mountain Division trained for mountain combat in World War II, as the nation's first national historic landscape.

Critics worry the measure could add additional red tape for extraction industries, including oil and gas producers.

Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier counters that the CORE Act is designed to preserve access to resources, on lands owned by all Americans, in a balanced way. She notes public lands and Wilderness Areas help define Summit County, and are a significant economic driver.

"Colorado has a $62 billion outdoor-recreation industry,” says Stiegelmeier. “It is why people are moving to Colorado like crazy. It is what we're all about."

Most of Colorado's congressional delegation supports the bill, and Stiegelmeier is hopeful that Sen. Cory Gardner – R-CO, and Rep. Scott Tipton – R-Cortez, will add their support.

The measure – introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse – D-Lafayette, and Sen. Michael Bennet – D-CO, in January – is a result of decades of work by such diverse groups as ranchers, small business owners, veterans, local elected officials and water and energy groups.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO