Ranchers, Sports”men” Propose Buy-back of Oil and Gas Leases

This photo is not from the Thompson Divide, but there are many places in the Interior West in which grazing and oil and gas development appear to coexist.

Props to these groups for seeing a different path to meet their objectives than litigation, plus the taxpayer will be off the hook for the costs of litigation, no small thing.

Here is a link to a story in the Denver Post today. Below are a couple of excerpts.

It’s interesting how diverse groups can bond when gas development comes up:

A combination of funds from foundations and coalition board members, including Sue Anschutz-Rodgers and Avalanche Ranch owner Chuck Ogilby, easily could raise $50 million if the leases were worth that, Kessler said.

Preserving the high country “is critical for our operations,” said rancher Bill Fales, whose family has run the Cold Mountain Ranch near Carbondale since 1924. Ranchers anchoring the region’s agricultural economy rely on federal permits allowing sustainable grazing in the high-country — grazing that they say could not be done amid drilling.

“We would have nowhere to go with our cows,” said Fales, whose wife, Marj Perry, is on the coalition board.

The area also includes a key migration corridor for lynx, moose, bear, deer, elk and mountain lions — and two Colorado Parks and Wildlife game units in which 14,000 big game hunting licenses are sold each year. A Sunlight to Powderhorn snowmobile route traverses the forests. Rock climbers, cross-country skiers and fishermen flock here for recreation.

Note the reference to sustainable grazing.. vis a vis our discussion yesterday here. Also snowmobiles (italics mine).

I also noticed that the author of the article states:

The U.S. Forest Service owns the surface land — located south of the Sunlight ski area and west of McClure Pass — much of it designated “roadless” under a recently upheld national rule aimed at protecting pristine forests.

It seems odd to me that the Colorado Roadless Rule, which is currently the law of the land in Colorado, is not mentioned (I don’t know offhand if there are any boundary differences between the rules in this area.)

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