Mountain Landscape. Colorado Wilderness Backcountry Road.

Forest Service, BLM public meeting on proposed Thompson Divide withdrawal

December 7, 2022

The USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are hosting an informational public meeting Dec. 14 in Carbondale regarding the proposal to withdraw approximately 224,704 acres of National Forest System and Bureau of Land Management lands in Garfield, Gunnison and Pitkin counties from disposition under the public land laws and mineral and geothermal leasing laws.

The meeting will include two sessions of up to one-hour, beginning at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., at the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, 300 Meadowood Drive in Carbondale or virtually. Register in advance for the virtual meeting.

The sessions will consist of a short presentation explaining the proposal and process, followed by a question and answer session. Information about how to provide written comments will be provided. The 6 p.m. session will include Spanish interpretation.

“This is really a preliminary meeting to discuss the process moving forward,” said Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Deputy Supervisor Anthony Edwards. “We will be conducting a thorough environmental review of the proposal under the National Environmental Policy Act, which will include additional opportunities for public comment.”

On Oct. 12 the Department of the Interior announced steps to protect the Thompson Divide area and the BLM published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the withdrawal proposal, available online on the Federal Register website.

The notice initiated a two-year segregation period, which prohibits any new Federal mineral leases within the proposed withdrawal area. The segregation does not apply to pre-existing leases or private minerals. If approved, the withdrawal would be over a 20-year period, subject to valid existing rights.

The current, initial comment period will close Jan. 16, 2023. Comments should be sent to State Director, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, Colorado 80215, or email them to: