Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Support Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act & Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act

The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers encourages the U.S. Senate (and then the U.S. House) to pass both S. 1634 (the CORE Act) and S. 636 (the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act).

Take Action

Consider contacting your elected officials and telling them you support these bills so that current and future generations of Coloradans can enjoy these landscapes and outdoor opportunities as we have. Take Action for the CORE Act here. Additional Dolores River NCA/SMA information is available here. Also see: Additional information included below. 

Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act (S. 1634)

The reintroduction of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act is a major opportunity for Congress to conserve one of Colorado’s greatest attributes: our high country and our access to it. Led once again by Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse, the CORE Act would protect more than 420,000 acres of public lands and waters, which are major drivers of Colorado’s robust outdoor recreation economy and hunting-angling heritage.   

The CORE Act was previously passed by the House of Representatives with bipartisan support but unable to advance out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during the 117th Congress. The legislation currently includes four previously introduced bills:

  • The Continental Divide Recreation and Wilderness Legacy Act  
  • The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act  
  • The Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act  
  • The Curecanti National Recreation Area Boundary Establishment Act  

Altogether, the CORE Act would designate 71,000 acres of new wilderness areas and create nearly 80,000 acres of new recreation and conservation management areas in places like the San Juan Mountains and White River National Forest, make permanent a mineral withdrawal for the Thompson Divide spanning 250,000 acres, and establish a boundary for the existing Curecanti National Recreation Area while improving its management. 

With more and more pressure on our public lands and waters in the high country and elsewhere, conserving these incredible places is critical for the future of Colorado’s wildlands and wildlife. Elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, mule deer, greenback cutthroat trout and more native species need this space to survive and thrive, and it’s our responsibility as Coloradans and stewards of these public lands and waters to do our part in sustaining them for future generations. 

The bipartisan Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act would have significant benefits for native fish and wildlife in southwest Colorado in addition to improving recreation opportunities for those who enjoy our public lands and waters. The legislation will benefit hunters and anglers by conserving habitat for native fish and wildlife in addition to improving recreation opportunities on our public lands and waters.

This legislation was developed after more than a decade of discussion and collaboration including local government, tribal partners, ranchers and conservationists. Through establishing the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Dolores River Special Management Area the bill will conserve a total of 68,000 acres of public lands and waters. Management of these areas will be directed to conserve, protect, and enhance native fish, wildlife and recreational resources, among others.

Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories—including chapters in 48 states, two Canadian provinces and one territory, and Washington, D.C.—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. The Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter)


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