Letter: Conserve the Thompson Divide | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Conserve the Thompson Divide

During the summer months, I spend my days hiking with my toddler on Williams Peak and exploring the vast network of trails that make up the Thompson Divide. This time I spend with my son provides an opportunity to instill in him a deep appreciation for nature and what we are leaving behind.

As a mother and resident of the Four Mile area (the area most likely to be impacted negatively by drilling in the Thompson Divide), I support the efforts of a broad-based coalition of folks, from all walks of life, working together to conserve the Thompson Divide for the long term.

Not only do I believe conserving the Thompson Divide is the right thing to do from a personal perspective, but because of what the land means to our economy and the countless Coloradans who rely on it for their livelihoods.

Recreation within the Thompson Divide supports 138 jobs and generates a total economic value of $12.6 million for our local communities. Local shop owners from Grand Avenue in Glenwood to Main Street in Aspen all benefit from skiers like me enjoying and recreating on this pristine landscape.

But all of that could be at risk if Houston-based oil and gas companies get their way. For more than 10 years, these companies have let leases they hold on the Thompson Divide lay idle. And, now, at the 11th hour, they’re asking, again, for more time.

It’s time to let those leases expire. There are just some places that aren’t appropriate for development, and the Thompson Divide is one of those places. Instead of giving in to the oil and gas companies’ request, it’s time for us to focus on what we’re leaving behind.

Mandy Rooks

Glenwood Springs

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