From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Stroud):
The Thompson Divide Coalition (TDC), in cooperation with the Roaring Fork Conservancy, will take a second water sample this week from locations in both the Thompson Creek and Fourmile Creek watersheds. Two more samples will be taken later this year, said Lisa Moreno, TDC campaign director.
Carbondale trustees on Tuesday agreed to fund half of the remaining $13,970 to complete the $79,000 study. An anonymous donor has agreed to match the town’s share, Moreno said. Other organizations financing the study include the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Program, the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation, outdoor gear company Patagonia and the Brown Foundation. A funding request is also before the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Moreno said. The TDC, which includes area ranchers, recreation and environmental groups, formed in the fall of 2008 in an attempt to protect federal lands in the Thompson Divide area west of Carbondale from oil and gas development.
The group is currently working with mineral leaseholders to retire the existing leases, and is seeking federal legislation to withdraw the area from the future leasing. “We have talked to the lease holders, and one is willing to talk,” Moreno reported to the Carbondale board. “The other one says it has plans for those leases.”
In the meantime, the group is working to collect baseline water quality data for the watershed to have on hand when and if drilling activity does take place.