House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on President Joseph R. Biden’s designation of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in Colorado.

“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 using the Antiquities Act. I encourage the president to consider other special places that could benefit from these 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.”

The Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument includes the historical training grounds for the 10th Mountain Division soldiers during World War II. The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, led by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) in the House and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) in the Senate, protects over 400,000 acres in Colorado, including Camp Hale. The bill passed the House on July 15, 2022 as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

Along with the new designation, the Biden administration also announced a pause on new mineral leasing for the Thompson Divide area, another key component of the CORE Act.