by Marta Perea + Tereza Varadyova for Thompson Divide, CRMS Class of 2015
Last Tuesday, May 27th, all CRMS AP Environmental Science students were lucky enough to go flying with EcoFlight. EcoFlight is a non-profit organization that provides aircraft for environmental advocacy, increasing awareness about different environmental issues around the country. Our class gathered at the Glenwood Airport on Tuesday morning. An educator from the Wilderness Workshop explained all the issues concerning the Thompson Divide, and the potential oil and gas development. The Thompson Divide is a very pristine area, and we believe is too special to drill. It has a great value as wildlife habitat, and its recreational land helps to sustain Carbondale’s and Glenwood’s economies. There are currently 61 oil leases in the area, and because of this, ranchers, local businesses, locals and conservationists have joined together to fight against the development of gas and oil wells. We flew over Thompson Divide, and we were told where all these wells were going to be put. We got a better understanding of the landscape, and the essential role that it plays on the area. We flew over Rifle, and all the wells that have already been developed in the area. This way we were able to picture how Thompson Divide would look after the oil and gas development. The flight gave us a much greater perspective of the importance of the area for the Roaring Fork Valley, especially Carbondale. Like Avery Kane ‘15 said: “We were able to compare how developed areas and non-developed areas looked, and how devastated the former looked. I think that destroying such a rich area with such a huge value is a big mistake.” We agree with Avery, and think that we all should fight against fracking in our beautiful valley!