Thompson Divide Coalition

Elise Thatcher

Congressman Scott Tipton wants to introduce legislation that would exchange leases on the Thompson Divide for new drilling rights near Paonia and Rangeley — a plan that’s nearly identical to a proposal by the oil and gas industry last year.

Marci Krivonen

  Oil and gas companies are deciding how to respond to the BLM’s expected decision about leases on the Thompson Divide. The West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association is working with about eight companies directly affected by a pending BLM decision.

EcoFlight

  The Thompson Divide Coalition is adjusting its course. The nonprofit is shifting from crafting legislation to supporting a pending BLM decision.

Colorado Trout Unlimited

The Bureau of Land Management is deciding what to do with dozens of oil and gas leases, including some on the Thompson Divide. The agency finished a series of public meetings this week to find out what residents want.

Marci Krivonen

The Bureau of Land Management is open to canceling more than half of the undeveloped oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide. The leases in question are for Forest Service land but the BLM manages the mineral rights underneath. The BLM is reviewing the environmental impacts of what can be done with those leases, and has released the list of management options.

Garfield County

Garfield County Commissioners are willing to take legal action to prevent oil and gas trucks from using a popular road near Glenwood Springs. Commissioners and other officials are reacting to news there may be drilling on the controversial Thompson Divide. At Monday’s meeting, the GarCo leaders said the County will try to convince the Forest Service to bar drilling companies from using Four Mile Road, which leads to Sunlight Mountain Resort.

Thompson Divide Coalition

The Thompson Divide Coalition hopes a successful negotiation with an energy company in Gunnison will set a precedent closer to home. 

The Coalition is working to keep natural gas drilling out of the Divide, southwest of Carbondale. Three companies have undeveloped leases. The second largest, Gunnison Energy, this week agreed to protect the land surface in the Divide through methods like directional drilling. Zane Kessler is with the Coalition.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

Glenwood Springs has two new council members.

It looks like the Thompson Divide will be safe from oil and gas drilling. But, what about other areas and how do residents there feel about that sort of activity in their backyards?

There’s movement and millions of dollars in play in getting a base village built at the base of Snowmass ski area.

Meanwhile, a new executive director has been hired at the Wheeler Opera House.

And, an Aspen City Council candidate is being scrutinized for something he did 10 years ago.

Joining me this week are Curtis Wackerle, editor of the Aspen Daily News, Jill Bethard, editor of the Snowmass Sun, Randy Essex, editor of the Glenwood Post Independent and Michael Miracle, editor of Aspen Sojourner magazine.

Marci Krivonen

Two oil and gas companies want to swap Thompson Divide leases, for mineral rights farther north and south of the Roaring Fork Valley. SG Interests and Ursa Resources are two of the largest oil and gas leaseholders in the Thompson Divide.

Today on CrossCurrents - last month, the federal government released the new Record of Decision on oil and gas leasing on the White River National Forest.  Guests are Will Roush of the Wilderness Workshop and Zane Kessler from the Thompson Divide Coalition.

http://www.wildernessworkshop.org/

http://www.savethompsondivide.org/about-us/mission-and-vision.html

Valley Roundup - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week the White River National Forest released an oil and gas plan. But, does that settle the matter on drilling in the Thompson Divide?

The City of Aspen continues to refine a new lodging incentives ordinance. At the same time, the council is asking the city management to give them better information.

The State of Colorado is not messing around when it comes to regulations and medical pot shops.

Could Aspen’s Little Annie’s return from the grave… again?

Your Morning News - December 10th, 2014

Dec 10, 2014

Aspen Hires New Executive Director of the Housing Authority

The City of Aspen is naming a new Executive Director of the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority. Michael Kosdrosky of Denver was named to the post. He will start in mid-January. Kosdrosky has a B.A. in Political Science from Ashland University, and a MPA from the University of Colorado School Of Public Affairs. Kosdrosky stated his career in the public sector as a Legislative Manager and Policy Advisor in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Your Evening News - December 9th, 2014

Dec 9, 2014

Environmentalists Praise White River National Forest Drilling Plan

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it protects much of the contested Thompson Divide. The long-awaited plan maps out where future oil and gas leasing can happen on the 2.2 million acre White River National Forest. It calls for closing more than 1.2 million acres to oil and gas leasing including much of the contested Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. The Thompson Divide Coalition is working to protect that area. Executive Director Zane Kessler calls the plan “a good step.”

“We’re excited that the Forest Service has taken a very strong, conservation minded lead on this.”

More work needs to be done, he says, because 100,000 acres already leased on the Divide won’t be affected by the Forest Service plan. The plan only applies to future leasing.

Mountain Edition - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Aspen City Council decides to take up lodging incentives again-- but much more cautiously.

Garfield County Commissioners suggest alternate routes for energy companies to reach leases on the contested Thompson Divide.

And the Glenwood Springs Police Department aims to crack down on people who don’t lock up their trash from bears.

The USA Pro Challenge announces Aspen will be included again in its route for 2015, only this time it won’t be the start.

Marci Krivonen

As the fight to keep natural gas drilling out of an area known as the Thompson Divide continues, two Roaring Fork Valley residents who operate lodging near the Divide flew over the contested area last week with Ecoflight. They say energy development would hurt their business. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen went on the flyover and filed this report.

The clouds are clearing as our Cessna 210 leaves the ground. It’s a smooth takeoff and right away, snowcapped peaks come into view.

Mountain Edition - October 9th, 2014

Oct 9, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

This week county clerks in Colorado began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We catch up with the first couple to wed in Garfield County.

Residents of the Valley who operate lodging businesses say natural gas drilling in the Thompson Divide would hurt their bottom line.

And, we hear from the two state house candidates working to earn votes in Pitkin County.

Finally, we catch up with filmmaker Jason Reitman whose new movie, “Men, Women and Children” screened in Aspen last week.

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.

Activists v Activists

Apr 28, 2014
Amazon.com

Among people opposed to oil and gas drilling it is a given that the Thompson Divide area should be off limits.  Still, there is disagreement within anti-drilling activists over strategy.  That difference of ideas burst recently into open criticism aimed at the Thompson Divide Coalition.  Aspen Times reporter Scott Condon reported on the squabble this week and he spoke about it with APR’s Roger Adams.

Mountain Edition - February 20th, 2014

Feb 20, 2014

The Thompson Divide prompted conflicting statements by environmental groups and Garfield County this week. Avalanche danger has been sketchy lately because of certain unusual factors.  And if a snow slide happens inside a ski area, turns out the resort isn’t to blame. A Basalt advisor wins an award for her work with female investors. We say goodbye to a member of the Aspen Public Radio family, lost too soon.  And, we’ll wrap up our coverage of Aspen area athletes going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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. 

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