Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary Modification Act
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS REGARDING H.R. 5458, A BILL TO MODIFY THE BOUNDARY OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
July 13, 2020
Chair Haaland, Ranking Member Young, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 5458, a bill to modify the boundary of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and for other purposes.
The Department supports H.R. 5458, which would authorize the addition of an important tract of land to Rocky Mountain National Park.
H.R. 5458 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to accept a donation of an approximately 40-acre parcel of non-Federal land located adjacent to the eastern boundary of the park. The addition of this land would enhance recreational access and connectivity through a scenic, natural buffer between private lands and three popular trails: Estes Cone, Storm Pass, and Eugenia Mine Trails. These three trails connect to, and are part of, a large trail network offering more than 350 miles of trails to the park’s 4.6 million annual visitors.
The addition of the 40-acre parcel would also add protection for the park’s Alpine Tundra Ecosystem. Alpine tundra, which makes up more than one third of the park, is a unique ecosystem that supports more than 300 plants and animals from bighorn sheep to butterflies that live in high elevations. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest elevation national parks in the nation, with elevations ranging from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet above sea level.
Chair Haaland, this concludes our statement.