Letter: Thompson Divide needs protection from development


At a town hall in Glenwood Springs last week, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton was asked if there are appropriate places to drill and inappropriate places to drill for oil and gas. Rep. Tipton’s response: “Yes.”

I am happy to hear our Congressman agrees with this statement. On Colorado’s Western Slope, we value our public lands for more than just what’s underground. Many areas, such as the Thompson Divide, already support a vibrant local economy through existing uses — ranching, recreation, hunting, and riding. Areas like the Thompson Divide are, therefore, appropriate for protection and inappropriate for development.

Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet has introduced legislation in the Senate to protect the Thompson Divide. At the same meeting in Glenwood, Rep. Tipton agreed to consider supporting this middle-ground solution and to introduce similar legislation in the House.

Support from Rep. Tipton would acknowledge his respect for special places inappropriate to develop. Keeping the Thompson Divide as it is presents a unique opportunity to promote our rich agricultural heritage, to grow our vibrant recreation-based economy, and to protect Western Slope watersheds and wildlife habitat. It’s an opportunity to establish a legacy of representing the diverse interests that exist in his congressional district on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Please join me in thanking Rep. Tipton for his willingness to listen to, and hopefully act on, the community’s effort to protect the Thompson Divide, our rural economy, our water, our wildlife, and our way of life.

Dorothea Farris


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