Success Story 2024

Thompson Divide Administrative Mineral Withdrawal

Wilderness Workshop Autumn on the Thompson Divide
Photo: Jon Mullen, Ecostock
Thompson Divide Administrative Mineral Withdrawal
Thompson Divide Coalition Wilderness Workshop
225,000 acres protected

In April 2024, the Biden Administration finalized protections for the Thompson Divide area in Colorado by enacting a 20-year ban on new oil and gas leasing. The administrative mineral withdrawal will protect about 225,000 acres of Colorado lands known for its rich ranching heritage, wildlife habitat, world class recreation, and freshwater resources. The Thompson Divide stretches south from Glenwood Springs through the Sunlight Ski Resort, across McClure and Kebler passes, and all the way to Crested Butte– some of Colorado’s most iconic landscapes.

This ruling furthers the Biden Administration’s commitment to protecting the Thompson Divide area along with the 2022 designation of the Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument, one of TCA’s past priority campaigns.

This is the culmination of years of hard work led by grassroots conservation groups, hunters, anglers, ranchers, local Colorado communities and elected officials in Colorado and beyond. This withdrawal will protect Colorado’s cherished public lands known for its ranching heritage, wildlife habitat, recreation, and water resources. The Conservation Alliance is proud to have supported this effort since 2013 and has given $190,000 dollars to Wilderness Workshop and the Thompson Divide Coalition to advocate for the Thompson Divide’s protection. TCA also lobbied on this issue in numerous DC fly-ins, sent business sign on letters, and educated our membership on this important issue for over a decade.

Wilderness Workshop works across more than 4 million acres of public lands to ensure their ecological integrity and has led efforts to designate more than half a million acres of Wilderness and hundreds of thousands of roadless areas in western Colorado.

The Thompson Divide Coalition bands together sportsmen, conservationists, ranchers, recreationalists, and local governments to secure permanent protection from oil and gas development of Federal lands in the Thompson Divide Area, of which they just achieved.

The Conservation Alliance thanks the hard work of our grantees, the Biden Administration, Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, and Congressmen Neguse as well as Interior Secretary Deb Halland for this incredible win for conservation, wildlife and climate.