01 Nov Tell the Forest Service to Keep Drilling Out of the Thompson Divide
The White River National Forest is developing a plan for oil and gas leasing over the next 15-20 years. The White River National Forest spans Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Pitkin, Eagle and Summit counties.
This plan will govern where and how all future gas leasing will occur in the Forest and will determine whether roadless areas and places like the Thompson Divide are available for leasing in the future. It’ll open or close vast swaths of the Forest to leasing and development.
Click here for more information from our friends at Carbondale’s Wilderness Workshop and click here to take action by submitting comments to the White River National Forest. Please personalize your letter, with information including:
- All roadless areas should be unavailable for leasing.
- You support Alternative B in the in Forest Service Plan – it would close nearly 1.5 million acres to leasing, while the other alternatives would leave open at least a quarter of a million acres for future oil and gas leasing.
- The Thompson Divide, in its entirety, should be unavailable for oil and gas development.
- The Forest Service has to get aggressive about emission controls on oil and gas operators. The BLM, which manages activity in the Colorado River Valley, is basically abdicating its responsibility to limit air pollution for that area. We can’t let the same thing happen to spectacular viewsheds on the White River National Forest – places like the Maroon Bells.
- If any additional leasing does occur on the Forest, it ought to take place in areas that are already developed. All future leases should have “no surface occupancy” stipulations, and operators should have to develop any new leases from areas with existing disturbance.