Letter: Still unclear why Tipton excluded Thompson Divide | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Still unclear why Tipton excluded Thompson Divide

The July 25 article about Scott Tipton’s REC Act titled “Here’s why Tipton’s public lands bill doesn’t mention Thompson Divide” deserves a deeper dive. The article says Tipton’s bill neglected to include protections for Thompson Divide because Garfield County’s position remains unclear and there are still questions about grazing. Those concerns have been put to bed.

Garfield County Commissioners have reaffirmed support for legislative protection of the Thompson Divide — a position they held for most of the last 10 years. Recently the commissioners issued a letter confirming their “position of no objection to the current legislative provisions in Title III” of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, which was introduced in Congress to protect the Thompson Divide in a way that respects existing rights there. The commissioners’ letter offered “support [for] the fair and balanced solution that is proposed in this legislation.” The Garfield County commissioners, along with many other sincere voices in our community, support legislative protection for the divide as proposed in Title III of the CORE Act.

With regard to grazing concerns, there shouldn’t be any. The Thompson Divide provisions of the CORE Act proposes a mineral withdrawal that does not impact grazing. The bill was drafted at the request of local grazers, and it seeks to protect existing uses in the divide, including grazing.

With Tipton’s concerns resolved, he should join the rest of his constituents in and around the Thompson Divide and support legislative protection for the area.

Mike Pritchard
Thompson Divide Coalition

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