Biden Announces National Monument at Camp Hale in Colorado

“For thousands of years, tribal nations have been stewards of this sacred land, hunting game, foraging medicinal plants and maintaining a deep spiritual bond with the land itself,” he said.

The area around the camp had long been important to the Ute Tribes, who were forced off their ancestral homeland in the mid-1800s. The new monument, which sits within the White River National Forest and includes the Tenmile Range, will continue to be used for skiing, hiking, camping and snowmobiling, officials said.

In a description of the proclamation the president signed, White House officials said the Ute people returned to the area frequently, to “pray, hold ceremonies, honor their ancestors, hunt, fish and harvest plants.” Officials said the effort to protect the area for recreation and ecology would also safeguard Ute burial sites that are thousands of years old.

This is the first time that Mr. Biden has created a national monument through the 1906 Antiquities Act, which Theodore Roosevelt first used to establish the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Since then, 18 presidents of both parties have used it to designate monuments, including the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty and Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients, officials said.

But Republicans said Mr. Biden was abusing the law in the case of Camp Hale. In their letter, the Republican lawmakers wrote that the president was trying to “weaponize the Antiquities Act,” calling it “an outdated 1906 law.”

The partisan back-and-forth underscores the political backdrop for the president’s announcement.

Democrats are counting on Mr. Bennet to win re-election in the midterm elections as they work to keep control of the Senate. If Republicans make a net gain of just one seat, they will regain control and the ability to shape the agenda in the chamber for the next two years.

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