Tipton Testifies on Hermosa Creek Legislation in Senate
WASHINGTON—Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), today, testified in support of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act of 2013 in the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. Tipton and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) have introduced companion bills in the House (H.R. 1839) and Senate (S.841) to protect the Hermosa Creek Watershed--an area in the San Juan National Forest north of Durango--as well as protect multiple use of the land.
In his testimony, Tipton spoke on the community effort behind the legislation that is endorsed by a broad coalition of stakeholders including: the City of Durango, the La Plata County Commission, the Southwestern Water Conservation District, the San Juan County Commission, Region 9, the Colorado Snowmobilers Association, Jo Grant Mining Company, Inc., in addition to numerous business and sportsmen groups, among others.
“This legislation has truly been locally-driven and has broad community support,” said Tipton. “Because the bill has been carefully crafted to preserve the Hermosa Creek watershed and the multiple use recreation opportunities it provides, it has received the endorsement of numerous local stakeholders including snowmobilers, anglers, hunters, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, elected officials, grazing permit holders, miners, water users and Southwest Colorado residents.”
Read Tipton’s full statement here.
Under the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act of 2013, much of the land will remain open to historic uses, including mountain biking, motorized recreation, hunting, fishing and selective timber harvesting. Grazing will be permitted in the entire watershed. This legislation ensures that areas currently open to snowmobiling on Molas Pass will remain open for future use. This will benefit outdoor recreation enthusiasts and continue to provide an important source of economic activity for the area. If this bill is not passed, then snowmobiling will cease in this region following the 2013/2014 winter season.
This legislation also contains important provisions that allow for active land management in areas designated by the bill as necessary to control wildfires, insect infestations and disease outbreaks.
Tipton has requested a legislative hearing on H.R. 1839 in the House of Representatives.