Ranchers and recreators unite against gas drilling in Thompson Divide

Posted: Mar 5, 2013

Written by

SCOTT CONDON, Aspen Times
Thompson Divide

From the CEO of Patagonia Inc. to a student at Colorado Rocky Mountain School and from ranchers to a bike-shop owner, hundreds of Carbondale-area residents spoke in a unified voice Wednesday night against gas drilling in Thompson Divide.

The crowd spilled out of Carbondale Town Hall for a chance to speak and show its support to keep roughly 250,000 acres of public lands pristine from Sunlight Mountain Resort to McClure Pass west of Highway 133 and the Crystal River. The Pitkin County commissioners organized the meeting to give residents a chance to speak on efforts by two oil and gas companies to extend their leases in Thompson Divide.

Numerous leases held by SG Interests and Ursa Piceance LLC are set to expire in May. The companies have applied to the Bureau of Land Management to “suspend” or cancel the expirations so they can hold the leases longer than the 10-year term.

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