Letter: Tipton should support permanent legislative protection for Thompson Divide | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Tipton should support permanent legislative protection for Thompson Divide

Thank you to local rancher, Marj Perry for clearing the air in her letter last week, for Post Independent readers who are attempting to understand the current state-of-play in our community’s effort to protect Thompson Divide. Anyone who read the July article titled “Here’s why Tipton’s public lands bill doesn’t include the Thompson Divide,” may have come away unclear about Garfield County’s support, even though the County clarified their position earlier in July with a letter of support submitted to Sen. Michael Bennet’s office.

As Marj noted, permanently protecting Thompson Divide has been a priority for local ranchers and the greater community for over a decade. Provisions of Sen. Bennet’s CORE Act reflect the work and consensus of a diverse and bi-partisan group of stakeholders. Much like the ranchers who want the area protected to preserve the viability of their grazing leases, we hunters too, want the Divide to remain pristine and free from mineral extraction in order to preserve it for its wildlife habitat values. In fact, game Management Unit #43 in Thompson Divide is one of the most sought-after units for hunting in the state, one in which I’ve been fortunate to hunt numerous times over the years.

With Rep. Scott Tipton’s concerns about Garfield County’s stance on Thompson Divide resolved, I urge him to join local hunters, ranchers, city and county governments, and recreationists of all kinds in supporting permanent legislative protection for the area as proposed in the CORE Act.

Bob Shettel
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers West Slope DPW liaison
Carbondale


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