Western Colorado’s North Fork Valley is under attack! The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has put 22 oil and gas lease parcels, totaling 30,730 acres, up for sale in August 2012. All of these parcels surround the Valley.
This Valley is an agricultural gem that embodies Slow Food’s principles of envisioning a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the planet, and good for those who produce it.
There are over 70 winemakers, farmers, orchardists, ranchers and agricultural businesses in North Fork Valley – all of which depend on good and clean water, air and soil. If oil and gas interests start production on these leases, the very lifeblood of the agricultural producers will be seriously threatened and probably ruined since the parcels include the watersheds of the entire Valley. And just as damaging, air pollution will engulf the Valley. This is totally unacceptable.
Because of the high concentration of naturally-grown and organic farms and the resultant rural quality of life that has existed for over 100 years, the North Fork Valley needs to be preserved. The growth and persistence of the Valley’s food/wine sector has stimulated growth in agri-tourism, which has sustained the Valley economically during the period of a national economic downturn. If oil and gas interests start production on these leases, the rural quality of life will be lost. We need to take action to stop this from occurring. The North Fork Valley is a prime example of a working sustainable economy, which would be sacrificed if the land were to change.
Anyone who supports sustainable agriculture must take a stand.
Slow Food Western Slope