Hi there, you all in the Roaring Fork Valley. I lived 25ish years there before moving over the hill to Hotchkiss and built my sweet little, solar, off-grid home. It's my little heaven with chickens, donkeys and the best dog smack in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the Bureau of Land Management's beautiful mountains and take-your-breath-away skies.
Did you hear the part about being surrounded by BLM? It is why I chose to live here, along with a handful of other reasons, including unlimited inspiration to do my oil and watercolor paintings I bring to the Aspen Saturday Market all summer long to send home with you and the wonderful tourists visiting Aspen.
But without consulting the people who live and breathe the clean air and make our livings in Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford and live adjacent to the lovely BLM land, some mystery bidders have been granted permission to bid on our BLM land and want to lease it and come take the oil and gas.
We are a small community of farmers, produce growers, winemakers and artists, and we have followed the horrid stories of things that do go wrong when fracking too close to people, animals and our most precious water that gives life to us and what we make.
Why do you residents and tourists of Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood care what happens in my neck of the woods? Well, this area is one of the largest producers of food, and much organic, that is sent to your tables at many high-end restaurants, Whole Foods and City Market. Even the eggs you buy at the Aspen Emporium and Flying Circus in Aspen come from Hotchkiss, Crawford and Paonia.
What can you do? Well, first, you can sign this petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/withdraw-blm-oilgas-leases-colorados-premier-organic-farming-region-and-update-blms-25-year-old-land/cFjBGbDM.
And of course it wouldn't hurt to write the BLM office in Montrose or, even better, write Barack Obama and tell him the whole oil and gas leasing of BLM needs to be re-written. You know that we, the people, own BLM but have lost power over how it is used.
I would appreciate any help on keeping fracking out of my backyard, and you can keep peace of mind that the great produce and wines and meats you enjoy and trust are the same as you expect and enjoy.