Gardner Bennet Outdoor retailer
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U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner, left, and Michael Bennet talk to a vendor at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer show in Denver.

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The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that Republican senators, including Colorado’s Cory Gardner, are forming a caucus around environmental issues.

The GOP group will be called the Republican Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, who founded the national park system. Its mission includes addressing climate change.

Colorado’s largest environmental organization, no friend of Gardner’s, scoffed and sent out a statement that called the caucus “all hat and no cattle.”

Based on its interpretation, Conservation Colorado alleges that Gardner votes against the environment “85%” of the time.

“Actually focusing on conservation means taking real action to fight climate change, finally passing a bill to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, sponsoring a wilderness bill to protect Colorado’s public lands, and standing up to the Trump administration’s dangerous energy dominance agenda,” Jessica Goad, deputy director of Conservation Colorado, said in a statement.

The Hill noted Gardner is in a competitive re-election race next year in a “green-minded state.”

Democratic operatives have sought to cast Gardner as an enemy of the environment and an enabler to the Trump administration, in painting the GOP agenda as pro-business and anti-environment. Conservation Colorado released a report critical of Gardner last month.

Contact Joey Bunch at joey.bunch@coloradopolitics.com or follow him on Twitter @joeybunch.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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