February 22, 2021 Media

Colorado Politics: Colorado congressional Dems reintroduce environmental legislation

Two of Colorado’s congressional Democrats have conservation bills heading to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives next week.

The Colorado Wilderness Act from U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette and the CORE Act from U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse are among the eight public lands bills that the House passed in the prior Congress, and are destined for another vote by the full chamber without needing committee consideration first.

“If we’re going to be serious about combatting the climate crisis, we absolutely must start by preserving more of our public lands,” DeGette said, alluding to an executive order from President Joe Biden that included public lands as part of a climate change mitigation strategy.

The Colorado Wilderness Act will protect 660,000 acres in Colorado, mostly at mid- and low-elevation terrain. The CORE Act would protect 400,000 acres.

Separately on Friday, Neguse also reintroduced the 21st Century Conservation Corps Act, another bill from the previous Congress that would provide billions of dollars in funding for public lands restoration jobs, tribal water infrastructure repairs and maintenance of public lands.

“Our bill would put Americans back to work in natural resource management to restore America’s forests and would make needed investments to prevent catastrophic wildfire,” said Neguse, the new chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. “The proposal was written with Colorado in mind, with the west in mind, with the firefighters and emergency management officials and with our public lands and our climate in mind, and it’s time we get it done.”