Letter: Thompson Divide area is vital to environment, community

In the Sept. 17 Glenwood Springs Post Independent, David Ludlum, executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association, made the claim that the Thompson Divide area is a political concept and not an area based on the Thompson Creek watershed or any other biological or geological considerations. For those of us who live and work in this community, we know this is not true.

Public lands in the Thompson Divide area provide invaluable grazing opportunities for local ranches, clean water for our crops and towns and endless recreation opportunities — including hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and biking — that support hundreds of jobs in our local economy. The Thompson Divide area also is defined by 15 different watersheds, all of which are connected through one of the last great swaths of undeveloped roadless areas on the Western Slope. Our communities rely on this area for the direct and indirect benefits it provides. Those benefits are very real and help to support our recreation and tourism-based economy in the region.

Simply put, Ludlam’s comments could not be further from the truth. Thompson Divide is not a political concept. It is an area of public lands that deserves to be protected for posterity’s sake.

Sarah R. Johnson