Letter: We must speak up to protect Thompson Divide
I am writing as a newcomer to this area having lived here just over one year. Currently, I can see the clouds filling with a yellow majestic glow as the sun sets over Assignation Ridge. In my short time here, I have grown very fond of the Thompson Divide area — the herds of elk, the golden eagles, the aspen groves, the deep sense of wildness in my backyard.
I love how the area is shared by a myriad of outdoor enthusiasts — ranchers, hunters, hikers, snowmobilers, skiers and rock climbers. It is in the spirit of my love for this incredible landscape that has been essential to the livelihood of our community and the enjoyment of tourists that I choose to voice my support for protecting this incredible asset. Allowing the oil and gas industry to use the land is short sighted and would not serve the many current existing uses. Protecting the Thompson Divide via the CORE Act, which is on its way to the House floor thanks to efforts from Rep. Joe Neguse, is protecting the very essence of what makes this place great and what brings money into local businesses of the region. While this is the furthest any Thompson Divide legislation has gotten through either house of Congress, Sen. Michael Bennet has also introduced the CORE Act to the Senate, and I sincerely hope that Sen. Cory Gardner will help it receive a hearing there as well.
I am encouraged by the fact that Garfield County commissioners, who reversed their decade-long support of the Thompson Divide in February with a letter of opposition to the CORE Act, are still engaging in dialogue about opportunities to support it. I would like to publicly thank the commissioners for not shutting the door on this opportunity to permanently protect the Divide. Protecting the Divide calls for the people who love the very spirit of this area to speak up and out for the wild and remote areas that create this incredible valley. Without it, part of what makes up the very consciousness of this area is lost.
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