When the Bureau of Land Management recently delayed its proposed August lease sale in the North Fork Valley to further analyze the impacts of drilling, our chefs were cheering.
The Aspen Skiing Company’s food and beverage team, including Michael Daley, Robert McCormick and Sabato Sagaria of The Little Nell and On-Mountain Executive Chef Jim Butchart, led the charge for this delay, encouraging their colleagues in the culinary world to learn more about this issue and let decision makers and elected officials know they were deeply concerned about this lease sale.
The Little Nell and its parent company, The Aspen Skiing Company, get a wide array of food from the North Fork Valley, including fresh produce, grass-fed beef and much much more.
“If drilling without the proper regulations in place occurs, we could see our local food supply disrupted and irreparably damaged,” said Executive Chef Robert McCormick. “It was important for us, as chefs, to really get involved and tell the BLM that this warrants careful consideration and stringent environmental protection.”
The work is not yet done. The BLM reserves the right to make these leases available at a later date and is simultaneously reviewing a 150 well development proposal in the Bull Mountain area closer to McClure pass.
Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC), a local advocacy group in the North Fork Valley, continues to advocate for no new drilling until exemptions from numerous environmental laws are reversed; the use of toxic, hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals is prohibited; and property rights of land owners or more adequately protected.
Recently the Aspen Skiing Company’s Environment Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to CHC to support their ongoing advocacy work. Learn more about the work of this grassroots organization at: citizensforahealthycommunity.org. Please note that this position isn’t anti-drilling, it’s anti-unregulated drilling.