LEADVILLE, CO (KDVR) – President Joe Biden will visit Colorado this week and declare a World War II training area a national monument, Nexstar’s KDVR has learned.

The Biden administration is preparing to designate Camp Hale, an alpine training site used during World War II, preserving the area and providing a boost to the re-election campaign of senior state Sen. Michael Bennett, a person familiar with the process told The Associated Press .

The appointment is expected to come as the president joins Bennett, a fellow Democrat, and other elected officials in Colorado, according to the person, who declined to be identified when discussing the appointment before it was officially announced. Bennett is in a re-election battle with Republican businessman Joe O’Dea, during which the Democrat pushed Biden to keep Camp Hale, about 20 miles south of Vail.

The camp was where soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division trained in the harsh, winter conditions of the Rocky Mountains in preparation for combat in the Italian Alps during World War II. After the war, many returned to Colorado and played a key role in establishing the state’s ski industry.

Legislators pushed for a monument to Camp Hale

Although pushback from Republican state representativesColorado’s Democratic lawmakers have reached the finish line now that Camp Hale’s protective status is to be elevated to national monument status.

For more than a decade, Colorado lawmakers have been trying to get the site protected as a national monument in the CORE Act.

Bennett, who was one of the officials leading the push for the designation, retweeted a post on Twitter by the granddaughter of one of those who trained at Camp Hale.

Camp Hale, soon to be a national monument. (Chris Muff)

“My grandfather trained at Camp Hale and was inspired by the surrounding landscape to fight for the desert after his army career. It would be great for @POTUS to define this land to inspire others. thanks @Senator Bennett for your continued efforts,” Kerry Donovan said in the tweet.

This is Biden’s second visit to Colorado this year and the third of his presidency. In January he toured the area devastated by the Marshall Fire with the first lady and last September he visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Arvada and talks about the importance of clean energy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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