Letter: Preserve Thompson Divide for the long term | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Preserve Thompson Divide for the long term

From a single-engine plane, I saw the aspen leaves in all their glory and also saw all of the acres of the Thompson Divide, which has been in the crosshairs of a debate over its protection. It is spectacular to see; the aspen trees look like flaming paintbrushes from above!

I participated in a fly-over of the area because I am committed to protecting the Thompson Divide. As a Unitarian Universalist minister, U.S. veteran and a Carbondale resident, I feel we must protect this sacred place for all of its uses — recreation, grazing, agriculture and hunting. Looking at the divide from the skies, I saw Carbondale at its tip and tears came to my eyes as I thought of all the people here who protect these beautiful lands for everyone in the valley and all those who visit.

I thank the Bureau of Land Management for agreeing with the public and canceling 25 leases in the area. This conservation-minded decision protects the divide; BLM’s decision is great news for our community, but it’s not permanent. We need a permanent solution to protect these public lands for future generations of hikers, mountain bikers, athletes and ranchers. Veterans especially need this sacred space to heal. Sen. Michael Bennet also deserves thanks for his leadership in trying to find a permanent solution for years now. After the fly-over, I am more dedicated to protecting the land and working with leaders who understand the profound value of this place.

The Rev. Shawna Foster


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