Thompson Divide

Mountain Edition - July 24th, 2014

Jul 24, 2014

Good afternoon, and welcome to Mountain Edition.

You’ve probably noticed we’re in our summer pledge drive this week… so today we’re bringing you an update on the latest local news.

Like efforts to restrict drilling on the Thompson Divide… lots of business in the valley this summer... and what we know now about theories on who may have been involved in Nancy Pfister’s death.

Then we’ll hear some of our favorite stories over the last several months… One man says he’s the only Ute tribal member who lives in the Roaring Fork Valley.

And, we chat with a local rabbi considered one of the most inspiring in the country.

We’ll hear about one of the tough issues in the Roaring Fork Valley. Heroin overdoses have claimed several lives this year.

As for the pledge drive, thanks if you’ve already made a gift or renewed your membership. If not...it’s time.

Because nearly half of Aspen Public Radio’s funding comes from listeners like you. Please consider making a pledge, at whatever amount is comfortable.

Call us at 920- 9000 during regular business hours, or give anytime on the interwebs, that’s aspen public radio dot org.

We’ve got lots of good stories for you during this special pledge drive edition of Mountain Edition... starting now.

Advocacy Group Looks To Forest Service Solution

Jul 24, 2014
savethethompsondivide.org

Natural Gas drilling in an area near Carbondale known as the Thompson Divide is still a possibility, despite protest from many local residents. The group trying to stop it is hopeful a Forest Service plan, due out later this summer, will prevent future drilling.

Colorado Trout Unlimited

The Thompson Creek watershed that flows through the contested Thompson Divide area, received a special designation this week. On Tuesday, the state’s Water Quality Control Commission approved an “Outstanding Waters” designation for several branches of Thompson Creek, near Carbondale.

To win approval the stream has to meet several high quality standards and, the designation prohibits certain pollutants from being discharged into the water. Aaron Kindle is with Colorado Trout Unlimited, which fought for the designation. He says it protects fish.

Pitkin County To BLM: Cancel Thompson Divide Leases

May 14, 2014
Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is reiterating its opposition to drilling in the Thompson Divide area through a letter to the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM is taking comments on its review of 65 oil and gas leases that stretch over the White River National Forest. Twenty-five of those leases are in the Thompson Divide, southwest of Carbondale.

Oil, Gas Advocates: Leases Should Not Be Cancelled

May 6, 2014
Bureau of Land Management

A set of meetings on how to manage dozens of oil and gas leases in Western Colorado wrapped up last week, and opinions vary wildly. The Bureau of Land Management held the meetings in April and May to solicit public feedback.

BLM Seeks Comments From Public On 65 Oil, Gas Leases

Apr 17, 2014
savethethompsondivide.org

The public is getting a chance this week to comment on what happens to existing oil and gas leases in Garfield, Pitkin and Mesa Counties. Sixty-five leases within the White River National Forest are up for review. Just eight of them hold active infrastructure, like gas wells. The Bureau of Land Management handles the leases and is soliciting feedback on what do with them.

Garfield County

   The Thompson Divide Coalition announced yesterday that Garfield County is supporting proposed legislation to protect the Thompson Divide. Hours later, the County denied that description… and said Commissioners said no such thing. 

 It was a day of dueling press releases. Around eleven A.M., the Coalition announced that commissioners with Pitkin, Gunnison and Garfield Counties are making a plea... to Republican Representative Scott Tipton to support pending legislation that would limit oil and gas development on the Thompson Divide. 

Mountain Edition - February 13th, 2014

Feb 13, 2014

A new report says there isn’t enough natural gas in the Thompson Divide to make it worth drilling. But the industry argues there aren’t enough facts to say if the leases would be a bust…

A new marijuana task force is meeting for the first time today. The goal is to monitor the effects of recreational pot on the Roaring Fork Valley.

The City of Aspen’s utility wants to run on 100-percent renewable energy and its enlisted the help of a government laboratory to help them get there. Aspen will inch closer to its renewable goal when it starts taking power from a new hydro plant in Ridgway later this month.

Local teenagers are getting a lesson on slam poetry. Two performance artists are visiting schools this week, teaching kids how to write and deliver “spoken word” poetry.

Finally, a Durango biathlete is competing in Sochi tomorrow. Her story is a unique one - she owes her Olympic bid to her twin sister.

Thompson Divide Coalition

 

There isn’t enough natural gas in the Thompson Divide to make it worth drilling… that’s the conclusion of a report by consultants hired by the Thompson Divide Coalition. The Carbondale group has been trying to buy oil and gas leases from drilling companies. An industry group, however, says there aren’t enough facts to say if Thompson leases would be a bust, and it accuses the Coalition of being disingenuous about its intentions. 

 

allvail.com

The White River National Forest is working toward the final stages of updating its oil and gas plan. The document sets out rules for the energy industry, like where and when they can operate on the Forest. And, it could impact what happens in the Thompson Divide. The agency is updating the old plan partly because oil and gas operations have advanced in the area. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Who and What To Believe?

Jan 8, 2014

I spend a lot of time trying to keep myself informed about current political affairs, but it often seems to be a futile effort.  The same subject can be reported with wildly divergent information in competing publications.  What is the poor reader to do?  And how is the public to make any sense of this?

tipton.house.gov

In a meeting with Pitkin County Commissioners last week, U.S. Congressman Scott Tipton said he doesn’t support legislation to protect the Thompson Divide from oil and gas drilling. Instead, Tipton wants negotiations between conservationists and energy companies to continue. For years, the sides have been working on an alternate plan to protect the area. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Will Roush

You might remember back in February when citizens packed the town hall in Carbondale to ask the BLM to let the gas leases in the Thompson Divide* naturally expire at the end of their ten-year terms. Unfortunately, the BLM suspended the leases, allowing the gas companies more time to attempt drilling in the Thompson Divide. On the positive side though the BLM also acknowledged that most of those leases were issued illegally and without proper environmental review or roadless-area protections and so they committed to doing an environmental review of the illegal leases.

Mountain Edition - July 18th, 2013

Jul 18, 2013

Pitkin County’s library is moving ahead with designs to expand, but the plan is significantly scaled back because voters turned down funding the project.

In Southwest Colorado, a massive wildfire closed down businesses in tourist towns. Now businesses are trying to recover...They’re applying for special loans.

We’ll talk about fire with Congressman Scott Tipton. In response to deadly forest fires he has sponsored legislation to thin forests so they are less explosive.

And, we’ll make a trek to Gothic, Colorado on the other side of the Maroon Bells where scientists have been studying a colony of marmots....for more than 50 years.

Finally today...The Thompson Divide Coalition’s attempt to buy out oil and gas company leases is not new...It’s been tried in other Western states.

Elise Thatcher

Oil and gas activists peppered Governor John Hickenlooper with questions this weekend. At first they protested outside the St. Regis hotel, hoping to catch Hickenlooper and other democratic governors in a conference. When Colorado’s governor didn’t come out to talk, demonstrators followed him to the Aspen Institute... where Hickenlooper appeared to get flustered after a barrage of questions.   

EcoFlight

The Aspen Skiing Company has given a combined fifty thousand dollars to organizations working to prevent oil and gas drilling in the Thompson Divide. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has more.

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