Letter: Tipton has had his chance to participate on Thompson Divide
For those who are following Rep. Scott Tipton’s remarks as noted in The Aspen Times of April 4 related to the CORE Act and Thompson Divide, I wish to provide some clarification.
If Rep. Tipton had responded to the numerous invitations by the Thompson Divide Coalition Committee to attend one of our many meetings during the 8-10 years of discussion and interactions with all involved participants, he would have been part of the discussion. Our very first meeting, (more than 10 years ago) prior to any action, was to make a thorough presentation to him and his advisers regarding our concerns and our community needs. The issues referred to in the article were discussed many times, group meetings and individual discussions were held, a variety of viewpoints and needs were reviewed, and numerous options were considered. Rep. Tipton had every opportunity to remain informed. Actually, as our Representative, it was his job to remain informed. The needs of the communities and our residents and the state were considered, and the best alternatives were pursued. The cooperation from the many participants included discussion about community health and needs, the integrity of the White River National Forest, wildlife and hunting and habitat needs, the ranching and agricultural requirements, the recreational demands, the environmental protection (air and water), economy, historic preservation, and preservation of quality of life. Anyone who wanted his voice heard had the opportunity to be heard. City and county officials as well as representatives from the oil and gas industry participated throughout the multiyear discussions and their interests were validated in the final proposal.
It is a mistake for Utah. Rep. John Curtis to suggest that Congressman Tipton was not consulted on this legislation. He was given every opportunity to participate, comment, recommend or learn about our process and proposal. As a founding member of the Thompson Divide Coalition Committee and a former county commissioner who understands the process, I resent the suggestion that Rep. Tipton did not have the ability to participate, comment, or remain involved and knowledgeable.
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