Casualties of the Thompson war

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Photo by Gretel Daugherty

On a large Colorado map, George Skiff of Grand Junction points to the area on the Thompson Divide where he owns land and mineral rights south of Glenwood Springs.

Private rights holders may lose with canceled leases

Private mineral-rights holders say they have much to lose with the cancellation of federal leases on Thompson Divide, even if their holdings aren’t legally affected.
George Skiff’s family holdings of about 640 acres on Thompson Divide would be rendered valueless by cancellation of leases or withdrawal, said Skiff, who farmed in the Grand Valley for 40 years, but whose grandfather acquired surface and mineral rights in the 1930s.
“It’s worth a great deal of money to our family,” Skiff said. “They’re going to devalue our property a lot.”
The Bureau of Land Management is moving forward with plans to cancel 25 oil and gas leases on the 220,000-acre Thompson Divide in the White River National Forest southwest of Glenwood Springs.

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