Carbondale environmental and community groups are applauding a bill that would permanently protect Thompson Divide from oil and gas development.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet introduced the legislation Wednesday. Watchdog groups like the Thompson Divide Coalition and Wilderness Workshop issued statements of support, saying the bill is good for both public lands and for the local economy.
There are about 10,000 acres near the Sunlight Ski Area that would also be protected; the oil company SG Interests has proposed new drilling in this area.
Wilderness Workshop attorney Peter Hart said in a press release that SG Interests would get credits that could be used toward leases elsewhere.