Thompson Divide Withdrawal

In response to broad interest in retaining the Thompson Divide’s contiguous landscape and protecting the area from potential impacts of mineral development, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland signed Public Land Order 7939, withdrawing approximately 221,898 acres of USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land from disposition under the public land laws and operation of the United States mining, mineral and geothermal leasing laws for a 20-year period, subject to valid existing rights.

The public land order withdraws 197,745 acres of the White River and Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison national forests, as well as 15,465 acres of BLM-managed public lands and 8,689 acres of reserved federal mineral interest under non-federal land. The withdrawal is authorized by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which authorizes Secretary of the Interior to withdraw lands aggregating 5,000 acres or more for a maximum of 20 years, subject to renewal. Only Congress can legislate a permanent withdrawal.   

A mountain ridge with nearby lush vegetation.
The Thompson Divide area is one of the nation’s treasured landscapes, valued for its wildlife habitat, clean air and clean water, and its importance to the Colorado way of life