Thompson Divide Mineral Withdrawal Benefits Public Lands, Waters, Wildlife

For Immediate Release                                                                                    

April 3, 2024

Contact: Thomas Plank,303-720-0111 [email protected]

Thompson Divide Mineral Withdrawal Benefits Public Lands, Waters, Wildlife

CARBONDALE, CO — Today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior to finalize a 20-year administrative mineral withdrawal for approximately 220,000 acres of the Thompson Divide along Colorado’s Western Slope was met with praise by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

The Thompson Divide mineral withdrawal will protect highly valued hunting and fishing terrain from oil, gas, and mineral development that fragment intact habitat and pose damaging downstream effects to one of the largest remaining undeveloped tracts of mid-elevation big game habitat in the state along with the headwaters to four high-quality trout fisheries. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and its Colorado chapter have been working for years to secure greater certainty for the conservation of Colorado’s Thompson Divide and the quality hunting and fishing experiences it provides. BHA has advocated both for the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act, which would implement a permanent withdrawal of the region, and has supported the initiation of the 20-year administrative withdrawal in October 2022.

“For more than a decade, hunters and anglers in Colorado have sought to conserve the remarkable fish and wildlife habitat within the Thompson Divide, a region that encompasses 34,000 acres of critical migratory corridors for elk and the headwaters for 1,550 miles of streams home to native trout. We share our appreciation with the Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture for their action to protect a total of more than 200,000 acres of public lands for the next twenty years,” said David Lien, Co-Chair of the Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “Only Congress can permanently protect this valuable landscape, and we continue to urge the passage of Sen. Bennet and Rep. Neguse’s CORE Act to do just that.”

BHA is committed to continuing our work on behalf of the lands, waters, and rich backcountry habitat in and around the Thompson Divide. The permanent conservation of this landscape through congressional action is critical to ensure healthy populations of fish and wildlife and support longstanding outdoor traditions for hunters and anglers.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife.


About Thomas Plank

Communications Manager for BHA

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