Action Ended On
What was at Stake
After decades of hard work, we’re taking public lands off the chopping block.
The Thompson Divide is an essential part of Colorado’s National Forest lands that contains some of the last fully intact forest ecosystems in the state and provides important habitat for wildlife, unparalleled backcountry recreation, and clean water for people in local communities. It encompasses a dozen different roadless areas but is threatened with potential oil and gas development and a lack of permanent protection.
The Bush administration recklessly leased much of the Divide in 2003, putting the land and the life that thrives there in jeopardy. For the last twenty years, the threat of drilling has loomed large. But now, the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service just announced their intention to protect the area from harmful extraction.
A mineral withdrawal is the official name for the process that will take the drilling rights for the area off the market. The withdrawal would protect over 200,000 acres of public lands between the Roaring Fork and North Fork Valleys from oil and gas leasing for 20 years. The agencies are accepting public comment until January 16, 2023 on the proposed withdrawal.
This proposed action is the result of decades of advocacy from Colorado residents, local government officials, our client Wilderness Workshop, and Earthjustice. Over the last two decades activists fought through changes in administrations, questioned shoddy analyses, turned out in droves for comment periods, and remained focused on keeping the oil industry out of this special place.
This fight perfectly encapsulates why the work of Earthjustice, our partners, and activists like you is so important. Despite the oil industry’s vast resources and hordes of lobbyists, we have something more powerful — people who care about the places they call home and the ecosystems that support them. No matter how long it takes and no matter how long the odds are, we’re going to keep fighting until the work is done.
Help us finish the job and protect the Thompson Divide by filing a public comment in support of the administration’s proposal.