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We engage in long term administrative planning processes that govern how and where oil and gas leasing and development will be allowed on local public lands. We work closely with the Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado River Valley Field Office to ensure that oil and gas projects are performed responsibly on our public lands. We successfully advocated for the closing of much of the Thompson Divide to future leasing for the next twenty years.  The decision protects much of the Thompson Divide and ensure more meaningful protections for various other resources as well, including wildlife, rare plants, and roadless areas.

We also weigh in on lands covered by the BLM’s Resource Management Plan for the area, always advocating for wildlife and natural habitat. In 2016 we filed a legal challenge to BLM’s new Resource Management Plan highlighting the agency’s failure to adequately consider potential impacts to climate, human health, and other public resources associated with the anticipated development of thousands of new oil and gas wells in our area in coming years.

WW is also currently working with partners in the conservation community on the ongoing revision of the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest Plan, as well as an update of that Forest’s Oil and Gas Leasing EIS.  This National Forest overlaps with southwestern portions of the Thompson Divide and important roadless areas that are within our service area, so we will be working to protect those areas through the process which will take several years.


Map of lands open for future leasing, under the White River National Forest’s new Oil & Gas Leasing Plan. 

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“There must be limits, somewhere, to the human footprint on this earth. When the whole of the world is reduced to nothing but human product, we will have lost the map that can show us how we got here, and can offer our spirits an answer when we ask why. Surely we are capable of declaring sacred some quarters that we dare not enter or possess.”

Barbara Kingsolver