IMPORTANT VOTING INFORMATION
Background: The fierce debate over who can use Colorado’s federally owned public lands -- and for what purpose -- is a constant fault line in Colorado politics. The U.S. House last year passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act -- a massive public lands measure that would designate roughly new 100,000 acres for wilderness and recreation in the state, and remove more than 200,000 acres from oil and gas development. The measure has stalled in the GOP-led Senate and faces a veto threat from the White House. Meanwhile, some Colorado Republicans are pushing for changes, like protections for water rights and grazing for local farmers and ranchers, before they’re willing to support it.
Wants public lands protected
A: Biden’s campaign website states that he would protect public lands, designating them national parks and monuments. He also said he would permanently put the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off limits for development. It’s not clear if he supports the CORE Act.
Green New Deal would prioritize public lands
A: His Green New Deal plan would protect public lands, and suggests he would reauthorize and expand the Civilian Conservation Corps to help upgrade them. He believes the government-owned lands can help address climate change by preserving forests and maintaining healthy soils. It’s not clear if he supports the CORE Act.
Increase access to public lands
A: The senator wants to dramatically expand access to public lands for recreation, allowing hunting, fishing and other activities on 50% of the 10 million acres that are currently inaccessible to the public. She also wants to make national parks free to enter, arguing that hefty entry fees make them virtually inaccessible to low-income families. The share of park expenses currently funded by fees would presumably shift to taxpayers more broadly, but she did not provide specifics in her campaign’s response to The Sun, or in a blog post outlining her public lands plan. Warren did not respond to The Sun’s question about whether she supports the CORE Act.
Praises sponsors behind public lands bill
A: Bloomberg says he supports expanding access to public lands, but has not outlined specific policies on the subject. He promised to release his policies soon. He did not explicitly endorse the CORE Act in his response to The Sun, but his campaign praised Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse for the bill’s development. Bloomberg’s campaign said his public lands policy would have a goal of protecting “the landscapes that are so critical for clean water, for wildlife habitat, for recreation and for other uses.”
Supports CORE Act and wants free national parks
A: When asked if he supports expanding access to public lands and the CORE Act, Steyer responded: “Yes.” He went further to say he wants to make national park admission free for all Americans and promised to put $25 billion toward upgrading facilities. He also wants to “mobilize $130 billion in new investments” for forest health and wildfire mitigation, as well as carbon sequestration and regenerative agriculture. He sees management of public lands as part of the effort to address climate change.
Backs public lands designations at home
A: She supported public lands designations in her home state of Minnesota. But it’s not clear where she stands on this legislation or the broader issue.
Protect public lands and plant more trees
A: The campaign did not respond to questions, so it’s not clear whether he supports the legislation. But Buttigieg has said that he would protect current federal lands and designate new parks and monuments. A public lands plan released in February also states he would support “locally relevant conservation, access, and environmental justice policy.” In addition, he has said he wants to mobilize Americans to “plant billions of new trees in forests, national parks, and public lands across the country.”