Letter: BLM should follow Forest Service on divide | PostIndependent.com

Letter: BLM should follow Forest Service on divide

My name is Nate Simmons and I am a partner at Backbone Media, a company that employs more than 30 people in Carbondale. Our public relations, media and marketing company is predicated upon inspiring active lifestyles and outdoor recreation, and we represent some of the biggest national and international brands in the market. To a large extent, this passion for the outdoors and access to incredible wild lands is what drove our decision to locate the company here in Carbondale in the first place. We also have offices in Jackson, Wyoming and Denver.

Over the years we have actively promoted Carbondale, resulting in many national media stories highlighting this town. In all the coverage I have ever seen about Carbondale, the No. 1 driving factor that makes us stand out is access to rivers and mountains, including those located in the Thompson Divide.

I’m writing to thank the Forest Service for also recognizing what a special place the Thompson Divide is. In its recent decision, the agency highlighted the area’s “singularity as a special place” and determined that the divide is inappropriate for future oil and gas leasing. We at Backbone Media agree, and support this finding wholeheartedly.

Oil and gas development continues to impact watersheds and landscapes around the state, and threatens other uses of the land like hunting, fishing, mountain biking, climbing, hiking and camping. As a business owner in the valley, I urge the BLM to respect the USFS finding and cancel existing leases in the divide. Preserving these ecologically healthy lands supports the sustainable economy that is at the heart of our community’s appeal.

Nate Simmons


Editor’s note: Several letters similar to today’s have come in after the Thompson Divide Coalition urged supporters to thank the Forest Service for its decision. Rather than taking letters space for a campaign, we will move on to other topics in the letters and run others like these only when other topics are exhausted.

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