Biden Approves National Monument For First Time Of His Presidency

( This week, President Joe Biden decided to designate for the first time in his administration a national monument. The monument he named is Camp Hale in Colorado, which was used as a training site during World War II.

The location in question is actually an alpine training site. During World War II, U.S. soldiers used the site to prepare for potential battles in the cold, snowy and mountainous Italian Alps.

After the war ended, many of the troops who trained at Camp Hale ended up returning to Colorado, which they transformed into a very lucrative ski industry.

Most national monuments are named as such to protect beautiful natural landscapes. That being said, there are more than 10 military sites that have been designated to be national monuments by U.S. presidents.

As Biden said when he made the announcement of Camp Hale being named a national monument:

“When you think of the natural beauty of Colorado and the history of our nation, you’ll find it here.”

The same day that the Biden administration made this announcement, it also said that it would pause all new oil and gas drilling, as well as all mining, in the Thompson Divide, where there are 225,000 acres of public land. The area isn’t far from Camp Hale and is rich in natural gas.

While the announcements happened on the same day, the Biden administration said they were not connected at all.

The Interior Department said the move is being made to protect wildlife. It also said it would be starting a review of a proposal that would withdrawal new leasing from the area for the next 20 years.

If that proposal does go into effect, it wouldn’t affect any of the active federal leases that are going on in Colorado. Still, those natural gas leases that are already in effect account for less than 1% of all the active federal leases in the state.

Not everyone is in favor of this move, though. Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican whose district in western Colorado covers this area, said this move by the White House is a “land grab” that would prevent the production of domestic energy.

Joe O’Dea, a Republican who’s running for Congress, said it was a “political stunt” that the Biden administration is undertaking. In an interview about the designation of Camp Hale as a national monument, O’Dea said:

“It’s not changing our economy. It’s not changing the price of gas.”

He added that while Camp Hale is a “special place,” the preservation of the site should have happened through an act of Congress, not by the White House. He went as far as saying Biden’s move was a “usurpation of power.”

Biden visited Colorado Wednesday as part of a trip to the West during the week. After visiting Colorado, the president headed to California for two events meant to promote his legislative agenda.

His last stop was scheduled for Oregon.