Shettel: Protect the Thomspon Divide
Protection of the Thompson Divide has been a priority for local communities for over a decade. As a hunter who has hunted the Thompson Divide, this area is especially important to me. I have seen how important it is to have large, undeveloped landscapes to support healthy elk and deer herds.
The Thompson Divide contains significant chunks of roadless area that are key for wildlife habitat and movement corridors. For seven years, I lived just outside Redstone, literally in the Thompson Divide, and filled my freezer with its bounty. It’s no wonder many hunters like me are drawn to the Thompson Divide each year. I thank the Forest Service and BLM for noticing our “Unified for Thompson Divide” yard signs, for listening to our communities’ desire to keep this special place intact, and for initiating a mineral withdrawal that would keep out new drilling and mining for 20 years. While the ultimate goal is permanent protection through the CORE Act, the proposed mineral withdrawal is an important protection for the next 20 years. I ask the agencies to act quickly to finalize these protections as soon as possible.