(This letter was originally addressed to Congressman Scott Tipton):
I am writing to thank you for your Dec. 5, 2019 letter to Colorado State Director of the Bureau of Land Management in which you requested that the BLM undertake an Environment Assessment for the proposal by the Rocky Mountain Resources Aggregates (RMR) to expand the existing mine.
You stated: “There is a great deal of concern within the impacted communities regarding the potential for damage to the hydrology that feeds into the famed Glenwood Hot Springs by drilling these wells. Any such damage could prove beyond devastating for the community and the local tourist economy.”
Shortly after your request, the BLM did, in fact, decide that an EA would be required.
This is a bipartisan issue in Garfield County and Glenwood Springs. While your letter did not need to describe the “impacted communities,” you will be thanked by virtually all of the residents of the Glenwood Springs area who would be affected by the enormous, negative impacts of the RMR proposal. In particular, the families who directly or indirectly depend on the tourism businesses must certainly appreciate your counsel to the BLM to show an “abundance of caution.”
Fortunately, this egregious proposal by RMR – to expand from 23 acres to 320 acres and to remove 5 million tons of rock per year hauled by 450 truck trips a day through the downtown – has gotten statewide attention. The Denver Post Editorial Board expressed on Nov. 14, 2019 that: “RMR won’t get a do-over if they destroy the complex structures that have fed the mineral-rich hot springs for millions of years.”
Thank you, Congressman, for listening to the City of Glenwood Springs, the Garfield County Commissioners (all pro-business Republicans), the Glenwood Springs Chamber, and the residents who joined the Citizens Alliance. You have demonstrated that you are both pro-business and pro-environment.
We also thank Republican State Senator Bob Rankin for his leadership on this issue.
James W. Light
Chaffin Light Management