Editorial, The Mountain Mail
The group opposed to Christo’s “Over the River” sent letters to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the office of the secretary of the interior asking that the BLM conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement on the project.
Rags Over the Arkansas River said in the letters that because the river has been designated a Gold Medal fishery, new studies should be conducted of OTR’s impact on the river.
It’s no surprise that ROAR would attempt to use this ruse to delay the project. ROAR’s Joan Anzelmo said the designation could be a “game changer” on whether or not the project gets done and that ROAR believes the project “will never happen.”
The BLM and the Department of the Interior should decline the request.
“Over the River” will not have any greater impact on the Arkansas whether the river is considered Gold Medal waters or not. The fact that the river is home to whatever number of 14-inch fish per acre from Leadville and Lake County to Parkdale has zero bearing relative to the Christo project.
An extensive environmental impact statement conducted by the BLM found that OTR will not adversely affect the river’s fishery and noted the steps being taken by the project to preserve the river fishery and river habitat.
It’s obvious that the project will have the same impact whether the river’s browns and rainbows are 10 inches, 14 inches, 20 inches or whatever.
The BLM and Interior should promptly deny ROAR’s latest attempt to delay “Over the River.”