DOI Sec. Haaland announces 20-year mineral withdrawal of Thompson Divide public lands

On April 3, 2024, Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced the 20-year mineral withdrawal for the Thompson Divide area of 221,898 acres of public lands managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in Colorado. CWF and NWF, in conjunction with the local communities, ranchers, hunters, anglers, other conservationists, and recreationists have long urged withdrawal. The area features exceptional resource values, including some of the last remaining large swaths of ecologically rich and intact mid-elevation habitat in our state. It provides migration corridors for elk, deer and other wildlife, spring calving grounds, native cutthroat trout streams, hunting and fishing (featuring Gold Medal trout waters along the Roaring Fork) and grazing and rangelands that support the local communities. Big game hunting licenses to residents and nonresidents annually direct substantial revenue to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and to local businesses. And clean water is essential to the local communities. The withdrawal is subject to valid existing rights. To achieve permanent protections will require federal legislation. Senator Bennet has worked tirelessly to gain passage of the CORE ACT for years and his efforts are joined by Rep. Neguse and Senator Hickenlooper.