Letter: Permanent termination of Thompson Divide leases

The directors of the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association are writing to request that you change your position on the termination of oil and gas leases in Thompson Divide. CVEPA is an organization that is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural environment and is a leader in promoting environmentally sound practices within the watershed of the Crystal River and neighboring areas. CVEPA was formed in 1972 and has a membership of over 100.

The members of CVEPA serve this mission through their observance of the activities in our valleys and by the actions of our elected representatives. CVEPA expects you, our Colorado District 3 representative, to be responsive to the needs and concerns of your constituents.

Approximately five years ago, the Thompson Divide Coalition began an extensive study of the Thompson Creek area with regard to its value and appropriate use. As our elected officials, you and Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall were among the first to be invited to participate in review and discussions. Unfortunately, you did not participate in any of these reviews, studies and public hearings. And now, after these studies and meetings have been completed, we learn that, without participation in this process, you rebuke the thoughtful decisions of the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and an overwhelming citizen voice. Instead, it appears you have promoted the plans and proposals from the oil and gas industrial development interests that have, financially, supported your election and position in Congress.

The CVEPA board of directors and its members cannot support a congressional candidate who is unresponsive to the district’s needs and the needs of those who live and work here and who want to respect and preserve our natural heritage, sensitive wildlife areas and the natural environment. Accordingly, we urge you to reconsider your position on the 25 leases within the Thompson Divide area and support their being terminated in perpetuity rather than suspended temporarily. The favor of a reply is requested.

Dorothea Farris

President, Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association