Thompson Divide community meeting in Glenwood Wednesday
Members of the Carbondale-based Thompson Divide Coalition and local elected officials have called a community meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Glenwood Springs City Hall to discuss the U.S. Forest Service’s recent draft decision to close most of the Thompson Divide area to future oil and gas leasing.
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams confirmed Tuesday that he is planning to attend the meeting to further explain and answer questions about the larger oil and gas leasing plan for the area forest lands, including the Thompson Divide decision.
The decision released last week by Fitzwilliams reduces the acreage available for leasing within the 2.2 million-acre White River Forest from 411,475 acres under the current 21-year-old leasing plan to 194,123 acres.
The plan removes about 61,000 acres in the 221,000-acre Thompson Divide region south of Glenwood Springs and west of Carbondale that will not be available for leasing for the next 15 to 20 years.
Other stakeholder groups, including representatives from Wilderness Workshop are also expected to attend, along with elected officials from Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.
The draft leasing decision is subject to a 60-day objection period that will continue until early February. Glenwood Springs City Hall is located at 101 W. Eighth St.
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Home values in western Garfield County are way up, according to tax assessors. That will contribute to a higher tax bill next year.