The great Thompson Divide is one of the last special, roadless wilderness areas in our backyard, enjoyed by conservationists, recreationalists, outdoorsmen and businessmen alike.
It is the one area which has garnered a wide range of coalition interests who want to preserve this special area from oil and gas development for our future generations.
Ten years ago, the BLM irresponsibly issued leases on this roadless area, when it was already considered wilderness. Now that these leases are about to expire, SG Interests and the Ursa Piceance LLC oil company want the BLM to suspend the expiration date of their leases so they might still be able to drill in this beautiful, pristine area.
By asking the BLM for an extension on these leases, these oil and gas companies are using nothing more than a stalling tactic to hold out so they can extort more money from the large opposition coalition, whose financial offers to these oil and gas companies have failed.
We certainly do not need to drill on every last remaining acre of Colorado, especially in pristine areas so close to our ski resorts. This area includes 221,500 acres of federal land running from Sunlight Ski Area to McClure Pass crossing Pitkin, Gunnison, Garfield, Mesa and Delta counties. It is where wildlife can survive and thrive.
Everyone should try to attend a meeting this Wednesday at the Carbondale Town Hall at 6 p.m. We should urge the BLM to retire these leases and let these oil and gas companies just go home, if we want to keep our clean air, water, outdoor recreation and businesses vital for the future. Please plan on attending this meeting and writing the BLM.