Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) said he will not support designating Browns Canyon as a national monument until he sees more consensus on the issue.
The announcement came during his town hall meeting Saturday at the Salida Community Center.
Pete Bond with Friends of Browns Canyon asked if Lamborn would support Sen. Mark Udall’s proposal.
He said he appreciates Lamborn’s views on public lands, but believes that “Browns Canyon is a special place that should be given special support.”
Lamborn said at a meeting he attended with Udall in April in Nathrop, “I heard a lot of perspectives. What I did not hear is a lot of consensus. I’m looking for more consensus. Until we do I will not support his bill.”
Before the meeting started, Keith Baker with Friends of Browns Canyon passed out stickers reading, “I support Browns Canyon National Monument.”
Other topics discussed during the question-and-answer included global warming, U.S. Postal Service and the Common Core State Standards initiative.
Dana Nachtrieb, Poncha Springs, asked about the stimulus package that helped bail out the banks.
Lamborn said, “I am, was and always will oppose bailouts, handouts and stimulus plans.”
Elizabeth Eckler, Salida, asked what Lamborn’s office is doing about letting the scientific research that global warming does exist be heard by Congress.
She said 98 percent of scientists believe global warming is real.
Lamborn said there are “a lot of contentious facts and claims about global warming and whether it is man-made.” However, he said there is “not much unanimity” about it.
At that statement many audience members commented that 98 percent was “pretty unanimous.”
Lamborn said he spoke to a scientist who believes that global warming is man-made and “should materialize” 50-100 years from now.
He said there are issues that need dealing with now.
Eckler asked again if he would listen to the evidence claiming global warming is here and now.
After more back-and-forth on the issue, Lamborn said, “I think we’ve beaten this horse to a pulp. I’m listening to all sides.”
Doug Constance said Earth has not changed in temperature in 15 years and asked what Lamborn’s office is planning to do if the planet heads into a period of global cooling.
The audience laughed, and Lamborn suggested he and Eckler have a side conversation later.
Merle Bazancyzk, owner and publisher of The Mountain Mail, asked about releasing the U.S. Postal Service from having to prefund its pension program so they would be in better shape to support rural America, like Salida and Alamosa.
Lamborn said, “The post office is a thorny issue, but I believe there is a different solution. I want to see them survive, thrive and be successful.”
He said while he will not introduce legislation to change prefunding the program, he will stay as educated on the subject as he can.
Jim Tingler asked why the House is wasting time trying to repeal Obamacare when it has been made clear that President Obama will not repeal the act and the Senate will not pass a bill that attempts to.
Lamborn said he does not believe it is a waste of time, that he wants to see the bill repealed and that “We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one.”
Rep. Jim Wilson (R-Salida) asked Lamborn’s opinion, from a federal level, about the Common Core State Standards initiative, which sets standards for what students are expected to learn in core subjects.
Lamborn said, “I have no objections to the intentions (of the initiative), but I don’t believe it’s the role of the federal government to be involved in education. I think it should be a state and local issue. We here know what’s best for us most of all.”
Chaffee County Commissioner Dave Potts asked about the Payment in Lieu of Taxes money that Chaffee County and others count on.
Lamborn admitted that the government “hasn’t done a real good job of keeping up with that. We need to do a lot better. We need to do a better job of bringing in revenue.”
He talked about offshore oil rigs, mineral mining and other uses of natural resources to create revenue.