Brown: Support presidential protection

I believe it’s a great step forward that Colorado’s leaders are calling on Pres. Biden to protect the Thompson Divide from future oil and gas leasing with an administrative mineral withdrawal, an action I fully support — and will always continue to support!

As someone who spends a lot of time in the Thompson Divide, I can personally attest to what makes this place so special and worthy of protection. Over the years, I have learned the ins and outs of elk migration patterns, found amazing, pristine springs as well as discovered some of the most unique camping around.

It’s a wild landscape, completely different from most of the Roaring Fork Valley — feeling more akin to southern Utah than the high Rockies.

Beyond my own personal connection to the landscape as a hunter and photographer, the Thompson Divide is really important to our local ranching and recreation economy. Hunting, fishing, grazing and other recreation activities on this area provides nearly 300 jobs and produces $30 million a year in economic value. 

Our local community has been working for over a decade to protect wildlife, recreation and ranching in the Thompson Divide from oil and gas development — the time to act is now!

While the protections provided in the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act are the best way for us to permanently protect this area from oil and gas development, our community needs the certainty an administrative withdrawal would offer, while we await the eventual passage of this legislation. 

Pres. Biden, please protect this incredible landscape for hunters and anglers and all who cherish this incredible place!

Dylan Brown