Thompson Divide Administrative Mineral Withdrawal finalized!

By WSCC 2 months ago

Sunrise peeks over the shoulder of Mt. Sopris as viewed from Huntsman Ridge in Colorado’s Thompson Divide. Photo credit: Jon Mullen

We’re excited to share in the celebration of President Biden’s announcement yesterday that the Thompson Divide Administrative Mineral Withdrawal has been finalized! This withdrawal protects more than 225,000 acres of lands in western Colorado from oil and gas leasing and mining for the next 20 years. The withdrawal includes lands south from Glenwood Springs, across McClure and Kebler passes, areas of the North Fork Valley watershed, and all the way to Crested Butte. 

The decision will conserve a one-of-a-kind landscape for generations to come. This is one of Colorado’s most important contiguous landscapes for wildlife habitat, outstanding outdoor recreation, ranching, and way of life for local communities.  The withdrawal is the result of a decade and a half of strong community collaboration to safeguard this landscape. Local governments, ranchers, recreationists, business owners, and community members worked together for over a decade and a half in pursuit of protections for the Divide’s natural resources and the watersheds that provide clean water to domestic and agricultural users in Western Colorado. 

Colorado residents face enormous challenges with a changing climate, and protecting one of the largest expanses of unfragmented, roadless forests in the state from oil and gas development is a major step forward in ensuring the future for clean air, water, wildlife and our communities.

While this is a major milestone in protecting this unique landscape, the Western Slope Conservation Center will continue to work with our partners to advocate for permanent protections through the passage of the CORE Act. 

  News, Public Lands
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