Bennet stands up for Thompson Divide
Dear Editor:As local business owner, I want to applaud and thank Sen. Michael Bennet for his work to preserve Thompson Divide and the vibrant tourism-based economy it supports.My business and my way of life rely on the untouched landscape and recreational opportunities within Thompson Divide. Local, urban and international guests come to Avalanche Ranch to experience a pristine setting where they can hike, bike, fish, hunt and relax in the surrounding area.Existing uses in Thompson Divide provide a sustainable base for our local economy that isn’t subject to the typical boom-and-bust cycles of development. A recent report showed that current uses in Thompson Divide support nearly 300 jobs and $30 million in annual economic outputs for our local communities. This is proof that existing uses in the Thompson Divide area, including tourism, ranching and recreation opportunities, can provide long-term, sustainable jobs for our community.Understanding the important role Thompson Divide plays in our local tourism-economy, Bennet introduced the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act.Bennet’s bill withdraws unleased lands in Thompson Divide from future oil and gas development. By providing leaseholders the opportunity to sell, donate or retire their rights in the area, Bennet’s proposal also allows for a market-based solution to the problem. I appreciate Bennet’s efforts and ask both Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Scott Tipton to support this middle-ground legislative solution.Additionally, I strongly urge everyone who cares deeply about taking a balanced, middle-of-the-road approach to protecting Thompson Divide to sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of The Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act today at http://www.bennet.senate.gov/thompsondivide.Molly JacoberOwner and manager Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs
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A majority of users of the popular Red Hill Recreation Area north of Carbondale say they would be OK with closing the trails during the muddiest times of the year.