The Thompson Divide Coalition hopes a successful negotiation with an energy company in Gunnison will set a precedent closer to home.
The Coalition is working to keep natural gas drilling out of the Divide, southwest of Carbondale. Three companies have undeveloped leases. The second largest, Gunnison Energy, this week agreed to protect the land surface in the Divide through methods like directional drilling. Zane Kessler is with the Coalition.
"This is the first time that we have seen direct support for a mineral withdrawal from an industry member that is a leaseholder in the Thompson Divide," says Kessler.
Kessler thinks this negotiation may encourage the remaining companies - SG Interests and Ursa Resources - to work with the Coalition.