Behar: Make Camp Hale a Monument
Recently, I took a historical tour of Camp Hale and learned about the incredible bravery, grit and resilience of the 10th Mountain Division during World War II.
Walking through the remains of the camp, field house and rifle range imagining thousands of men, mules and equipment as well as the challenging conditions they trained and fought in gave me a clearer understanding of mountaineering skills they took to the Italian alps to defeat the German army.
What they endured, their love for the mountains and the legacy they left make Camp Hale deserving of National Monument status. I urge Pres. Joe Biden to proclaim the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, including the Tenmile Range, also a 10th Mountain training area.
Seeing the camp in a sad state of disrepair and neglect calls for appropriations to go with the designation. Artifacts and landmarks are unprotected and continue to degrade. The surrounding landscapes where the troops trained is being denigrated and disrespected by damaging behavior, like metal detection (with artifact loss) and illegal, off-road vehicle use. Funding would help the U.S. Forest Service upgrade the eroded interpretive signs, repair roads, help maintain the legal recreational trails and safeguard the resource for posterity.
National Monument status of Camp Hale and the Tenmile Range would also protect wildlife habitat and migration corridors, keeping our wildlife population healthy and thriving. Our veterans, our heritage and natural resources deserve this protection. Biden should also use his administrative authority to help protect the Thompson Divide area with a temporary, 20-year mineral withdrawal. It makes sense as we shift away from dirty oil and gas energy to protect this untouched wildlife area and water resource.
I wholeheartedly support the establishment of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. If you agree, let the president know by signing the petition at coreact.org.
Ted A. Behar