Letter: No oil and gas in North Fork Valley

The Living Farm Cafe and Inn is located in the North Fork Valley. Our valley has been designated Colorado’s Farm to Table Capital. It is home to the highest-elevation wine arbors in the Northern Hemisphere, a dozen wineries and the highest concentration of organic farms in Colorado, including The Living Farm. The North Fork Valley is a place perfectly situated to reap the benefits of the state’s push to cash in on the growing popularity of agritourism. That is if we are smart, and if the people, businesses and communities of the North Fork are allowed to plan our own future.

America runs on energy, and the North Fork has been doing its part for more than 100 years, and we still are. Home to innovative leaders like Solar Energy International and projects like the mine methane power generation at Oxbow, as well as still a top Colorado producer of “super-compliant” coal, we take pride that powering the nation is a shared effort and we do our part.

We are also looking to a more diverse future than our more limited economic past. We want to honor where we have come from, keep and cultivate what is unique and special, and nurture what draws people here. This summer we are happy to say is our busiest summer yet with full reservations in June.

Most here feel that oil and gas development simply does not fit into the lands where we live, grow our food, have our businesses and recreate. If oil and gas development is to happen in some places, we need to see other places removed from the threat of it happening there in the future. We want to have a say and direct input into how, where, if and when this activity occurs.

Multiple use does not mean oil and gas drilling everywhere, and most folks in the valley are serious in our intent to see the public lands here protected for their full suite of resources — including setting some lands aside altogether from future oil and gas development. The North Fork Valley creates Colorado’s best ingredients. It is time to protect the North Fork Valley as the state treasure it is and could yet be.

Emma Stopher-Griffin

The Living Farm Cafe and Inn, Paonia

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.