Letter: Thompson Divide deserves protection
The Thompson Divide’s landscape reflects the character and strength of those who live, study, ranch, farm, work, govern and recreate here. The area’s stark beauty suggests openness and honesty; its sharp edges encourage directness; its forests offer solace; its clear skies demand clarity; its mountains require risk.
For the past 10 years, the area’s residents, ranchers, recreationists, visitors and local municipalities have been united in a common cause for the Thompson Divide — to recognize appropriate use of these public lands and to protect these special areas from inappropriate energy development while respecting existing rights of current operators and leaseholders.
Senator Bennet’s proposed legislation gets us there. We, the stakeholders of the Thompson Divide Coalition, appreciate the continued support for current and appropriate activities and benefits of the divide — ranching, clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, identified recreational activities, and preservation of our limited wild lands.
We, also, recognize the need to restrict oil and gas development in the identified area now, and we trust that support for these diverse interests and restriction of inappropriate uses are given equal consideration and support 10, 20 and 40 years in the future. Towns and counties around the divide have publicly supported the preservation of the area’s unique natural qualities and its protection from inappropriate oil and gas development.
I urge these community leaders, mayors, town councils and county commissioners to reaffirm their support of protecting the divide by supporting its inclusion in Bennet’s legislation.
Crystal River Valley