The 221,500-acre Thompson Divide area is at risk to oil and gas development approaching from the west. As a mostly intact ecosystem, the Divide provides enormous value to the community. Not only does it contain critical wildlife habitat and provide clean air and water, the Thompson Divide contributes $30 million dollars a year to the local economy and supports nearly 300 Colorado jobs. Local communities identify with this pristine area, as it represents their heritage, their culture, their food and their way of life.
Diverse stakeholders have joined together in a unified effort to protect those values and after listening to the community, Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act which will remove the area from future drilling and lay the groundwork for existing leases to be sold, donated or retired, permanently preserving the area for its existing values. EcoFlight flew the senator and his staff over the Thompson Divide to help deepen their understanding of this area that is critical to the local economy. The aerial perspective over the Thompson Divide presents a compelling and stark contrast, as the Divide presents an actual dividing line - to the West and North is the industrialization of the Roan Plateau and the Piceance Basin, to the South and East is the Roaring Fork Valley providing world-class recreational opportunities. EcoFlight is committed to the effort and will continue to provide the aerial perspective of this landscape to the stakeholders involved.
See a short video of Senator Michael Bennet's visit to Carbondale, CO where he addressed the Thompson Divide community at a BBQ in his honor: