Gardner’s bipartisan, bicameral bills enlarge Rocky Mountain National Park

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) recently introduced two bicameral, bipartisan bills to expand his home state’s Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sen. Gardner on Dec. 17, 2019 sponsored both the Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary Modification Act, S. 3068, as well as the Rocky Mountain National Park Ownership Correction Act, S. 3069, with lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).

If enacted, S. 3068 would permit Retired NASA Astronaut Vance D. Brand to donate 40 acres to Rocky Mountain National Park, while S. 3069 would correct a land ownership boundary error in the park.

Both land transfers require an act of Congress to complete, according to Sen. Gardner’s office.

“Astronaut Vance D. Brand is not only an American hero, but also a Colorado hero. Born and raised in Longmont, Colorado, he spent many years at Rocky Mountain National Park, and now he graciously wants to donate 40 acres of land to expand the park where he spent many years of his life,” Sen. Gardner explained in a video-taped statement.

“I’m incredibly grateful for his commitment to share more of the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park area with the public, and I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Bennet and Congressman Neguse to respect this hero’s wishes and make this donation official,” said the senator.

Brand said the land donation “is payback to the American people in appreciation for the wonderful times and many benefits that I receive from great experiences” in the park.

Specifically, Brand has requested that the U.S. government adjust the eastern boundary of the park to include the 40 acres donated by his family that’s currently in the hands of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.

Meanwhile, S. 3069 would permit the National Park Service (NPS) to resolve a 1972-73 issue whereby a 0.18-acre plot containing a family cabin was erroneously transferred to the park when the NPS purchased a larger surrounding parcel, according to information provided by Sen. Gardner’s office.

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) also on Dec. 17, 2019 introduced the same-named bills, H.R. 5458 and H.R. 5459, in the House of Representatives.