Administration secure future for Thompson divide

Apr 04, 2024


The Administration has finalized protections for the Thompson Divide in Colorado, effectively withdrawing the area from future mineral development. This decisive action, part of the broader America the Beautiful initiative, aims to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, showcasing an unparalleled commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. 

The preservation of the Thompson Divide, covering approximately 221,898 acres of land managed by the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is crucial for maintaining the region’s unique ecological, recreational, and scenic values. The area, known for its pristine wildlife habitat, clean water, and diverse outdoor activities, contributes significantly to the local economy and community well-being. 

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland highlighted the administration's dedication to protecting such special places for future generations, emphasizing the collaborative nature of the effort involving hunters, anglers, ranchers, conservation groups, and local governments. The withdrawal, authorized for a 20-year period with potential for renewal, respects valid existing rights and does not interfere with private land activities or water rights. 

This landmark protection measure comes after a year of public consultation and environmental assessment, incorporating extensive stakeholder engagement and feedback from thousands of comments. It exemplifies a successful model of locally led conservation that aligns with national environmental goals. 

The Thompson Divide's protection not only preserves the area's natural beauty and biodiversity but also supports the growing recreation economy, which is vital for many rural communities. By securing the Thompson Divide, the administration affirms its commitment to a balanced approach to land management that values conservation and community needs equally, ensuring these precious resources remain for generations to enjoy.

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