Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Udall introduces Camp Hale bill

Last week, Mark Udall introduced the Camp Hale Study Act of 2011, co-sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet. It directs the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility and suitability of establishing Camp Hale as a national historic district and a separate unit of the National Park system.

Camp Hale, near Leadville, was used by U.S. armed forces such as the Army's 10th Mountain Division during WWII and the Cold War as a training facility for combat in high-alpine and mountainous conditions. In addition, the CIA used the camp to train Tibetan freedom fighters to resist Chinese occupation in the 1950s and 60s. Camp Hale was de-activated in 1965; it is now part of the White River and San Isabel National Forests.

'Camp Hale is an important part of our state's proud national defense legacy, and it deserves to be recognized and protected. As a training site, Camp Hale has been home to U.S. soldiers who later fought the Nazis in Italy, and Tibetan freedom fighters who fought against occupation-it has played an important part in our country's shared pursuits of freedom,' Udall said. 'Designating Camp Hale as a national historic district will preserve its connection to the past, as well as honor the people who trained there.'

Udall introduced similar legislation in the 111th Congress. It passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and would have been included in a public lands omnibus bill Udall pushed for in 2010.

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