BLM aims for balance in Thompson Divide

For years, the nonprofit, EcoFlight, has been flying politicians, journalists and concerned citizens over a pristine corridor outside of Carbondale that’s being eyed by oil and gas companies for drilling. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a plan for the area that has both industry and environmental groups wanting more. Aspen Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stewart-Severy recently flew over the Thompson Divide and has this report. Read Full Article >>

BLM aims for balance in Thompson Divide2018-04-17T16:58:29+00:00

Environmentalists urge stricter protections on Divide

Representatives of Wilderness Workshop and Trout Unlimited said Thursday they’re hopeful the Bureau of Land Management will tweak its recent decision about leases for gas and oil drilling between Carbondale and Battlement Mesa to include more restrictions on industry. Wilderness Workshop and EcoFlight hosted a flight over the area for journalists after the BLM last month moved to cancel 25 leases in the Thompson Divide area outside Carbondale. The purpose was to show how Thompson Divide flows into several roadless areas to the west, including Thompson Creek, Baldy Mountain and East Willow, and the industry’s inactivity on leased well pads. While [...]

Environmentalists urge stricter protections on Divide2018-04-15T18:49:57+00:00

Environmentalists push for protections west of Divide

The western fringes of the White River National Forest hold special memories for Tyler Baskfield, the Colorado sportsman coordinator for Trout Unlimited. In 1992, after moving from Minnesota to attend college at CU-Boulder, he went on his first-ever elk hunt in the remote Thompson/Divide Creek region southwest of Glenwood Springs. "It was stunning, being a kid from the Midwest," Baskfield recalls. "I knew deer hunting, which back home meant walking a few hundred yards into the woods and sitting in a tree until a deer came by. To all of a sudden be in these great mountains and to be so [...]

Environmentalists push for protections west of Divide2018-04-18T17:42:53+00:00

BLM moves to cancel 25 leases on the Thompson Divide

Federal agency releases final EIS on 65 contested leases The Bureau of Land Management released a preferred alternative on a final environmental impact statement Friday that moves to cancel 25 oil and gas leases in the controversial Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. Of 65 total contested leases both inside and outside of the Divide, the preferred alternative would also apply new stipulations to existing oil and gas leases that are not currently producing, and only make minor adjustments — or none at all — for producing leases, the BLM notes in its decision. “The BLM’s proposed action strikes the right balance [...]

BLM moves to cancel 25 leases on the Thompson Divide2018-04-15T18:55:16+00:00

25 Thompson Divide leases canceled

The Bureau of Land Management released a plan Friday to cancel 25 oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. Local groups, including Wilderness Workshop and the Thompson Divide Coalition, said in statements that canceling those leases helps to protect wildlife, land and public water supplies. The complete Final Environmental Impact Statement addresses 65 oil and gas leases in the White River National Forest. These leases are owned by multiple oil and gas companies, including Ursa and SG Interests. Read Full Article >>

25 Thompson Divide leases canceled2018-04-17T17:03:26+00:00

BLM MOVES TO CANCEL THOMPSON DIVIDE LEASES

A much-anticipated Bureau of Land Management decision Friday to move forward with plans to cancel 25 previously issued but never-developed oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide region met with the usual praise from conservation groups and industry criticism. The BLM formally released its final environmental impact statement for its review of 65 existing leases on the White River National Forest that were issued over the past 20 years. The preferred alternative in the document lays a path to cancel the controversial Divide leases that cover a swath of land stretching from Sunlight Mountain Resort southwest of Glenwood Springs to [...]

BLM MOVES TO CANCEL THOMPSON DIVIDE LEASES2018-04-18T00:58:58+00:00

BLM gas-lease decision imminent

The Bureau of Land Management expects to release its preferred alternative on an environmental review of 65 White River National Forest oil and gas leases within a couple of weeks, agency spokesman David Boyd said Tuesday. The release of that alternative and an accompanying environmental impact statement would mean the agency won't be granting an energy industry request to reopen the review for further public comment and consider a new, much-higher estimate of the size of the Mancos shale natural gas resource in western Colorado's Piceance Basin. Boyd said he can't comment on what's in the preferred alternative. However, the agency [...]

BLM gas-lease decision imminent2018-04-18T17:46:48+00:00

BLM pressed to reopen Thompson Divide lease review

A new round of debate is emerging in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's review of 65 oil and gas leases on the White River National Forest after a new geological report showed a greater prospect for natural gas resources in the region. Industry interests, along with U.S. Rep. Bob Bishop, R-Utah, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, asked BLM officials both locally and in Washington, D.C., to reopen the public process after a draft environmental analysis was released earlier this year. A final environmental impact statement is expected later this summer, and the BLM has said it plans to [...]

BLM pressed to reopen Thompson Divide lease review2018-04-18T01:01:06+00:00

Rancher heads to D.C. to talk Thompson Divide

A Carbondale rancher will be speaking this morning in the nation’s capital for the protection of the Thompson Divide in a hearing that is heavy with oil and gas industry officials. Bill Fales will testify before the House Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C. during a hearing entitled Opportunities and Challenges of Developing the Mancos Shale Resource. The discussion kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and can be viewed at www.naturalresources.house.gov/live/. It will be a profound change of scenery for Fales, who said he’s in the middle of a very busy time of the season and has spent the last [...]

Rancher heads to D.C. to talk Thompson Divide2018-04-15T19:03:31+00:00

Tipton gets blowback on drilling bill

Representatives from the Wilderness Workshop and Thompson Divide Coalition had harsh words Tuesday for a proposed oil and gas lease swap. Meanwhile, Pitkin County commissioners expressed frustration that their input wasn’t considered in the latest proposal. Morgan Neely has more. Read Full Article >> 

Tipton gets blowback on drilling bill2018-04-17T17:05:30+00:00
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