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Tipton Initiative to Study Impact of Wilderness on DOD Readiness Passes House

February 13, 2020
Press Release

Today, Congressman Scott Tipton’s (CO-03) measure to study the impact wilderness designations in the West have on Department of Defense readiness passed through the House of Representatives as an amendment to H.R. 2545, the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act.

Speaking in support of the amendment Tipton said, in part:

My district is home to one of the installations that conducts military aviation training missions for our men and women in uniform, the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site or HAATS located in Gypsum, Colorado.  It is both an honor and a privilege to represent the lone, U.S. Department of Defense schoolhouse where rotary-wing aviators in our nation’s armed forces and our foreign allies learn how to safely fly rotary-wing aircraft in mountainous, high-altitude environments.  The life-saving training acquired by our servicemen and women at HAATS is vital to our national security and readiness.

Title I of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act would establish five wilderness or potential wilderness areas within the HAATS training area.  During this Congress, numerous pieces of legislation designating wilderness continue to be introduced without taking into consideration the potential effects that these designations would have on readiness.  Proactively, Congress should work to ensure current and future wilderness proposals do not interfere with the readiness of our armed forces when it comes to aviation training.

Following adoption of the amendment Tipton added, “While there still remain several flaws in this legislation, I’m glad to have made a small improvement that will help ensure Congress fully understands the impact that these land designations may have on military readiness in the future.”

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