Colorado's Thompson Divide is 221,500 acres of uninhabited forest and roadless mountain meadows -- habitat for countless animals, wild landscapes for people who love to be out in nature, and open lands for hunting and fishing.
And it's a battleground for one of the Westís dirtiest public-lands energy conflicts.
In 2003 and 2004, under the George W. Bush administration, the Bureau of Land Management quickly sold off the rights to drill thousands of acres in the Thompson Divide. When it came to light that these leases were illegal, having been made without required environmental impact studies, the BLM last year proposed to cancel 65 of these illegal leases. It did the right thing in protecting public land from industrialization and our climate from more greenhouse gas pollution.
But now the BLM is caving to industry pressure: A new and almost-final plan released a few weeks ago proposes to reopen 27 of those leases for development. This would mean building roads, drilling for oil, and the risk of water pollution in the middle of habitat for species like northern goshawk and native cutthroat trout.
We have one final chance to tell the BLM to return to its original plan and protect the Thompson Divide.
August 25, 2016 Action Alert ID# 415
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