Aspen Skiing Co. among Colorado businesses asking BLM to broaden perspective
Twenty-four outdoor recreation businesses from Colorado, including Aspen Skiing Co. and two others from the Roaring Fork Valley, want the Bureau of Land Management to reconsider an “energy dominance” approach to issues.
The businesses sent a letter Monday to Jamie Connell, the new state director of the BLM in Colorado, to emphasize the importance of the outdoor recreation industry in the state.
“Our businesses contribute to Colorado’s $28 billion outdoor recreation economy, which depends on Colorado’s world class public lands,” the letter said. “Yet these lands are under increasing pressure from the current administration’s ‘energy dominance’ policies, which are poised to do irreparable damage to Colorado’s outdoor industry through the prioritization of oil and gas development.”
The BLM offered almost 12 million acres of public lands across the West for oil and gas leasing last year, the letter said. This fall alone, 2.9 million acres were offered for lease, including popular recreation destinations within or near Dinosaur National Monument, North Park and the North Fork Valley surrounding Paonia.
“The process used to determine where oil and gas development can safely take place has been severely undermined,” the letter contended.
The businesses ask the state director to help “guide the BLM back on course” and allow rigorous public debate on where oil and gas drilling should take place.
Aspen Skiing Co.’s Matthew Hamilton as well as Adam Miller of Why Cycles in Carbondale and Ashley Rankin of Shredly in Carbondale signed it.
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Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”