Time to Step Up for the Divide…Again!

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If you live in the Roaring Fork Valley I am sure you’ve heard of the Thompson Divide.  This 220,000 acre region is the center of a pitched battle where natural gas leaseholders face off against a broad based coalition of hunters, anglers, bikers, hikers, backcountry skiers, ranchers and many other Roaring Fork Valley residents, no matter their political stripes. The Thompson Divide Coalition (TDC) represents these interests and seeks to find these leaseholders a graceful exit before the drill bit hits the dirt and fracking fluid is pumped into the ground. TDC’s work protects a region that defines the Roaring Fork Valley while generating 300 jobs and $30 million annually.

Image courtesy of http://www.savethompsondivide.org/

Image courtesy of http://www.savethompsondivide.org/

Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finds itself squarely in the middle of this battle having leased the land 10+ years ago but now being forced to admit that it did so without following the letter of the law requiring in-depth analysis of environmental impacts.  Ten+ years later the BLM is conducting a long overdue review of these leases. As part of this process the BLM is looking for you to share your thoughts about the importance of the Thompson Divide.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Tell BLM to Save Thompson Divide by submitting a comment.
  • Attend one of three public meetings to send a strong message to BLM: there’s overwhelming local support for conserving the Thompson Divide and the livelihoods this land supports. Here are the public meeting details:
  • Tuesday, April 15th – Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Rd. from 4 to 7 PM

  • Wednesday, April 16th – Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave. from 4 to 7 PM

  • Thursday, April 17th – Pitkin County Library in Aspen, 120 N. Mill St. from 3 to 6 PM

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About Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton is Aspen Skiing Company’s (ASC) Sustainability Director. He is also the Executive Director of the Environment Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million over the past 15 years. Matthew oversees ASC's community philanthropy, and runs ASC's day-to-day environmental programs, including the monthly Greenletter, and GREENTRACK, ASC's ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. Matthew is also consultant with Aspen Sustainability Associates, and has lectured nationally and internationally on ASC's work. He currently serves as President of the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, and on the boards of the Carbondale Tourism Council, Colorado Youth Corps Association and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Previously, Matthew was a Research Officer at The Piton Foundation, working with low income neighborhoods on issues of education reform, affordable housing and economic development. Prior to that, he worked for Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger anti-poverty group; the Independent Sector, a national association of nonprofits and foundations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (on a project called Enterprise for the Environment), for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, and for Middlebury College. Matthew has a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Middlebury College and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University where he focused on nonprofit management. During his free time he can be found on his bike spending time enjoying many of the local trails and back roads. He lives in Carbondale, Colorado with his wife Jen, and their children Boden and Beck.