In October 2022, President Joe Biden used the Antiquities Act to create the first new national monument of his presidency. The 53,804-acre Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument on National Forest System lands is in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Ute Tribes. The Ute Tribes were forcibly removed from Camp Hale and the Tenmile area ranges in the mid-1800s. The sites remain extremely important to the Tribes who continue to return there to honor their ancestors and hunt and fish.
Camp Hale became a training base for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, whose soldiers served in World War II and helped bring victory in the European theater through the skills they learned in the rugged, mountain terrain. After the war, many of the soldiers returned to the area, lending their training and expertise to a burgeoning ski industry. According to the White House, more than 60 ski areas in the United States, including many of Colorado’s world-famous ski areas, owe their origin and development to these veterans.
The Forest Service will manage the national monument and develop a management plan to protect cultural resources and the objects of historic and scientific interest. Since the monument contains landscapes, sites, and burials of ongoing importance to Tribal Nations who have inhabited the area since time immemorial, and to ensure that management decisions affecting the monument reflect Tribal expertise and Indigenous Knowledge, the White House has asked the Secretary of Agriculture to meaningfully engage with Tribal Nations with cultural ties to the area, including the Ute Tribes, in the development of the management plan and to inform subsequent management of the monument. The ACHP has two Forest Service Liaisons and looks forward to seeing the co-stewardship of the new monument come to fruition in the future.