For twenty years, Congresswoman Diana DeGette has tried to pass a Colorado wilderness bill. Now she's trying again: Today, July 24, DeGette introduced the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2018, which would provide federal protection for wild spaces in Colorado. If it ever passes. While increasing demand for recreation and the importance of preserving open space remain key reasons for pushing the bill, the timing of its introduction this round was inspired by the president and his cabinet. “Public lands are under attack by the Trump administration. That’s why the sense of urgency of reintroducing this bill is even greater,” DeGette said [...]
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This fall, join Wilderness Workshop in honoring our organization’s most valuable resource: YOU, our fabulous members. Help us celebrate and say goodbye to our outgoing Executive Director, Sloan Shoemaker, in Sopris Park in Carbondale on Friday, September 21 from 5-9 p.m. We’ll be offering FREE beer and non-alcoholic beverages to all Wilderness Workshop members, as well as affordable meals from a food truck (veggie options available). Entrance is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite guests. Kick back and play some lawn games and catch up with friends while enjoying the upbeat sounds of local band Sleepy [...]
The Colorado Wilderness Act began as the Citizen’s Wilderness Plan, developed by a group of concerned citizens who inventoried federal lands throughout the state to identify pristine lands that met the criteria for Wilderness designation. They met with local communities and other stakeholders to gather input. The proposal was modified after discussion and was presented to Congresswoman Diana DeGette. She agreed those lands required protection and introduced a bill to designate the areas as Wilderness, which is the strongest level of land protection in the country. The need for this protection has only grown as more people have moved or traveled [...]
Wilderness Workshop is hiring a full-time Conservation Director for its office in Carbondale, CO. Applicants should want to live in a small mountain town on the west slope of Colorado, engage in meaningful public lands conservation work at the local state and national level, wear flip-flops or ski-boots to work, and help direct and shape the future of public land conservation on the West Slope of Colorado. We’re a smaller, nimble organization that takes our mission to heart and our work very seriously. While we engage in national issues (think the Methane and Roadless Rules) our bread and butter is keeping the [...]
An EcoFlight trip above the heart of the Piceance Basin west of the Roaring Fork Valley sought to give various members of Colorado-based media groups perspective into a recently filed lawsuit that challenges 53 energy leases in Mesa and Garfield counties that were awarded by the Bureau of Land Management in 2016 and 2017. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, a Denver nonprofit. There are three co-plaintiffs, one of which is the Carbondale-based nonprofit Wilderness Workshop, which describes itself as “the conservation watchdog of nearly 4 million acres of public lands in western Colorado.” The 53 lease [...]
ASPEN — The Trump administration is pushing to open more public land in Colorado for fossil fuel development, preparing to sell off access to minerals under 45,000 acres near a state park and bird habitat along the upper Colorado River. But the intensifying efforts by the federal Bureau of Land Management face resistance. Conservation groups are fighting in federal court to block this leasing in already-drilled areas around De Beque, accusing the feds of skipping required environmental reviews. And in southern Colorado this week, Huerfano County commissioners began drafting a formal request to the BLM to delay the proposed leasing of [...]
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it will pay an oil and gas company $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed after the agency, under the Obama administration in 2016, cancelled 18 leases to drill in the Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. The government’s settlement, which will be finalized when Houston-based SG Interests receives the funds, means the leases cancellations, affecting 21,000 acres, will remain in effect. The BLM cancelled the leases after a years-long effort led by multiple community groups that formed the Thompson Divide Coalition. The group challenged the validity of the leases and succeeded in [...]
Eighteen gas leases in the heart of Thompson Divide southwest of Carbondale are formally out of play and won't be developed, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday. The BLM and a company called SG Interests reached a settlement agreement over the BLM's decision to cancel the leases in November 2016. The federal government agreed to pay $1.5 million to SG Interests as part of the settlement; SGI dropped its legal challenge of the lease cancellations. "SG had 18 leases in the heart of the Thompson Divide. The development of those leases wasn't a closed book. Now it is," said [...]
Felicity Huffman grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley. She graduated from NYU and is a founding member of the acclaimed Atlantic Theater Company in New York City. Her acting credits include Broadway, off Broadway, television and film. She has earned an Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe and Emmy awards. Her company, Velocity, produces both television and theater. In 2015, Huffman and her husband, William H Macy, took over the Huffman family home in Woody Creek. Read Full Article >>
Conservation group Wilderness Workshop will host a variety of events throughout the summer, including its recurring hike and restoration series. June 27, 6 p.m.: Wild Feast is a fundraiser featuring cocktails hors d'ouevres and music before a three-course dinner, held at Aspen's Caribou Club. Guest speakers will be Sharon Buccino, director of the Land & Wildlife Program at the National Resource Defense Council and Nada Culver, senior counsel and director of the BLM Action Center at the Wilderness Society. Tickets are $500, or $5,000-$10,000 for a table. Read Full Article >>