Christo received great news to start the New Year. On January 2, 2015, the Federal District Court upheld the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of Over The River. The dismissal of this challenge marks a major victory toward making this two-week temporary work of art a reality.
“I was always confident the court would uphold the BLM’s actions because the Environmental Impact Statement conducted by the BLM was thorough and comprehensive,” Christo said. “We have one appeal in state court still outstanding, but today we took a significant step forward in realizing Over The River.”
The BLM’s approval of Over The River has now been reviewed and upheld by both the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the federal court. An appeal to this decision is possible, but the ruling makes a strong statement about why all prior challenges to the federal permit have now been rejected. Any appeal would be nothing more than another attempt to delay the installation of Over The River.
The only remaining legal challenge to Over The River is now being heard by the Colorado Court of Appeals. The state district court originally upheld the Colorado State Parks agreement to approve Over The River in September 2013.
All Over The River approvals are based on comprehensive analysis that has withstood legal scrutiny at every step of the legal process. However, due to the complex installation schedule, Christo is waiting for successful resolution of the legal process before identifying the Over The River exhibition date.
Installation of Over The River requires 27 months to complete and must commence in a future January. This process includes hundreds of protective measures, including many times when work is prohibited or restricted due to sensitive wildlife, environmental, tourism and other periods. Final permitting and preparation for installation must begin well in advance of the actual construction, making it impossible to speculate on the potential timeline at this point.
The Over The River team looks forward to securing the few remaining permits and working with the BLM to develop a detailed event management plan so Christo can identify the installation schedule and move forward.
Happy New Year!