Students learn firsthand about Thompson Divide | AspenTimes.com

Students learn firsthand about Thompson Divide

Dear Editor:

On July 25, Ecoflight of Aspen flew 18 University of Colorado, Boulder, students enrolled in INVST Community Leadership Program over the Thompson Divide area to demonstrate the pristine beauty of the area and the need for protection from oil and gas development.

Each year, the students in the program travel together for a month-long summer service-learning experience. Their mission is to develop community leaders who are committed to working for social and environmental justice and sustainability.

The students hear from a variety of perspectives concerning pressing questions related to energy production, transmission and consumption, as well as resource management and environmental and human impacts of strategies of preservation, conservation, and various approaches to development. As they gain firsthand experience of the complexity of these issues, students grapple with the ethical dimensions of the decisions we face as communities and as a society.

The Thompson Divide area was selected because of the need for protection from oil and gas development. There is currently a unitization proposal with the BLM, proposed by SG Interests, that would lead to development of 18 leases covering 32,000 acres in the area. BLM will make a decision by the end of the year as to the future of these leases.

Thank you to Bruce Gordon, Jane Pargiter and John Eaton for their generosity and time in providing a unique experience for the students, and for bringing more awareness to the Thompson Divide Coalition. For more information, please call (970) 355-4223 or info@savethompsondivide.org

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Laurie Stevens

Carbondale

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