January 21, 2022

Expanding Access to the Great Outdoors

Dear Friends,

It goes without saying that Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful, rugged landscapes in the country, from gorgeous mountain peaks, to rushing rivers and world-class ski slopes. As a result, small-business owners, and Main Street communities throughout our state rely on the booming outdoor recreation industry at the heart of Colorado's economy. As Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, boosting our state’s outdoor recreation industry and expanding access to the outdoors is therefore a key component of our legislative agenda. Last Congress, we enacted legislation into law to expand Rocky Mountain National Park, by authorizing a generous donation from former NASA Astronaut Vance Brand, and this Congress our work continues! We are advancing proposals to expand access to hiking trails, long-distance bike routes, increase opportunities for outdoor guides and retailers and invest in Colorado's ski resorts and national forests.

This week, we made progress on TWO pieces of legislation to deliver on these goals. Our bill, The Continental Divide Trail Completion Act, PASSED out of the House Natural Resources Committee! This bill now heads to the House floor for a vote, bringing our vision of completing the 3,100 mile trail one step closer to becoming a reality. This legislation will remove gaps along the trail to make it accessible for everyone and boost the local economies of the gateway communities along the trail's route. See what hikers had to say about the CDT HERE.

We also introduced The Biking On Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation which would expand access to long-distance bike trails on our federal lands, and bolster our outdoor recreation. Read more about the bill HERE.

WHAT ELSE ARE WE WORKING ON? 

  • We are delivering $225 million to repair 481 bridges throughout our state that are in poor condition, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law! The first allotment of money is beginning to flow to local communities this week to put people back to work repairing crumbling bridges and roadways and reducing commute times. Learn more here. 
  • We unveiled the Climate RESILIENCE Act to strengthen FEMA’s pre and post-disaster mitigation efforts and improve codes and standards to make American communities more prepared for worsening natural disasters. As those in Boulder County continue the recovery and rebuilding process in the wake of the devastating Marshall Fire, we are doing everything we can to improve and expand the federal disaster assistance process. This legislation is critical in that effort to ensure our policies are proactive, as well as reactive in the wake of worsening climate-fueled natural disasters. 
     
  • We unveiled legislation that would prevent campaigns from utilizing pre-checked reoccurring donation boxes, a tactic that has led to many Americans unwillingly donating repeatedly without realizing. It's critical everyone is able to participate in the political process, and this common-sense bill will help ensure that.
  • As the former head of Colorado's consumer protection agency, I know how healthy competition benefits both consumers and small-business owners alike. This week, in the House Judiciary Committee, we are continuing our work to increase competition to ensure every economy can thrive. You can listen to my opening comments in this week's hearing here.

Please reach out, we always love hearing your thoughts, concerns and questions. 

Hope you are staying safe, healthy and enjoying some time in our outdoors!