A protest of a proposed exploratory well in the Thompson Divide area led a Houston-based oil and gas company to request that the U.S. Forest Service close the public road leading to the drilling site last week.

Members of the Wilderness Workshop and Thompson Divide Coalition, both based in Carbondale, announced last week that they were staging a camp-out on Monday as a show of support for protecting the area before today’s site visit.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Scott Fitzwilliams, supervisor of the White River National Forest, confirmed Monday that SG Interests sent him an email requesting that the road be closed. The request was promptly denied.

SG Interests made the request when they read about the camp-out in the newspaper, he said.

“They suggested that we close the road off, and I said no,” Fitzwilliams said.

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