Gardner Bennet Outdoor retailer

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

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 the former GOP president who founded the national park system. Its mission includes addressing climate change.

RELATED: INSIGHTS | Left won't take Gardner at his word on support for parks

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.

His campaign called it a partisan "cheap shot."

Gardner told The Hill, “We are going to give future generations, tell the people of Colorado, that we’re going to assure them that the next generation is going to receive an environment that is in better condition, better shape, better health than the one they inherited when they were born.” 

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