Garfield County offers mineral rights to keep western watershed untouched

Garfield County Commissioners passed a letter of support today for an exchange of oil and gas leases near the Thompson Divide. It’s part of an ongoing attempt to leave the vital western Colorado watershed untouched by development.

The plan under consideration would allow two companies with leases in the Thompson Divide area to swap their oil and gas leases for ones on nearby federal lands. The area is important to outdoor enthusiasts and it’s seen as one of Colorado’s largest roadless stretches.

Ultimately Garfield and other western Colorado counties involved with the land swap are urging Colorado U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, as well as Rep. Scott Tipton to sponsor legislation that would support the lease exchange.