On Monday, Garfield County Commissioners took a stand against a federal bill that would restrict oil and gas development in the Thompson Divide.
While they supported preserving hunting, ranching and other recreation activities, commissioners Tom Jankovsky, John Martin and Mike Samson penned a letter that stated the importance of oil and gas development to Garfield County’s economy,
This was in reaction to a bill proposed last month by Senator Michael Bennet called the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, or CORE.
The act includes a bill that would permanently protect the Thompson Divide area west of Carbondale from oil and gas development. It would preserve the area from Four Mile Park to McClure Pass for activities like cattle grazing and recreation. The bill does maintain private property rights for current leaseholders.
The bill sets up permits so that energy companies can recover methane from established or abandoned coal miles on the Paonia side of the Thompson Divide.
While the Garfield Commissioners didn’t establish a specific resolution, they expressed a desire to return to the land’s previous “multiple-use” mandate that would allow future energy development.