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In some ways, it’s almost impossible to believe how controversial many of Christo and Jean-Claude‘s projects have been. The Orange Gates in New York City took 26 years (from 1979 to 2005) to be realized after many controversies and rejections (and that was in the art capital of the world). Christo and his late wife Jean-Claude work with fabric, after all, and their installations are always temporary. So what’s the big deal? In the case of The Umbrellas, installed in both Japan and the US two people died in accidents. Critics of the Over the River Project have similar concerns related to both public safety, impact on business and recreation, and environmental impact. A group calling itself Rags Over the Arkansas River, or ROAR raise concerns about the impact on Bighorn Sheep, Bald Eagles, and the effects that up to a 1,000,000 visitors in a two lane canyon over two weeks could have on the its residents. Would ambulances be able to get through in the event of an emergency? What about sewage? and wildlife access to the 5.9 mile stretch (of 40 total miles in the canyon) of the water that would be covered? And yet the project is also estimated to bring in millions of tourist dollars to Colorado and international attention during the two weeks it would be installed. Additionally, none of the project itself would be publicly financed.
Regardless of the outcome, Colorado, and Southern Colorado in particular, will certainly be remembered for this project and the decision-making process. The Bureau of Land Management will have the final say over the project, which would be installed during the summer of 2013 at the earliest. They have extended the comment period until September 14 and you can read the Environmental Impact Statement HERE.
-You can email them at email@example.com.
-You can use the BLM’s online comment form HERE
-You can send them a letter to: BLM RGFO, OTR Comments, 3028 E. Main St., Canon City, CO 81212.
-Or you can call them at (719) 269-8599.
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