Glenwood Springs community comes together over proposed quarry expansion
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Natalie Rae Fuller does not live in Glenwood Springs but spent her Saturday learning about Rocky Mountain Resources’ Transfer Trail Limestone Quarry expansion proposal.
“I wanted to find out more,” Fuller said.
Saturday at the community center the city of Glenwood Springs hosted The Whole Shebang.
At the public event, local officials illustrated Rocky Mountain Resources’ proposal for the quarry on Bureau of Land Management land just north of Glenwood Springs.
The Los Angeles and Denver-based company’s plans to blast and crush 5 million tons of rock annually for over two decades concerned Fuller, who has lived in Basalt and Carbondale for the past five years.
Enough to make the 27-year-old, who hopes to spend her foreseeable future in the Roaring Fork Valley, write a letter to the Bureau of Land Management.
“I hope that the concern of citizens not only in this town but in the surrounding towns will get the federal government’s attention,” Fuller said.
Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Pitkin County all have joined Glenwood Springs in passing formal resolutions opposing the expansion of the Transfer Trail limestone quarry.
At Saturday’s community event, the city showcased its recently unveiled black and yellow “Don’t Strip Glenwood Of Its Future,” logo and slogan.
“If I was Chad Brownstein … I would not be having a good couple of days,” Jonathan Godes, Glenwood Springs mayor, said with respect to recent media coverage of RMR’s expansion plans and political ties.
Current Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt once worked for law and lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which RMR hired to lobby on behalf of “issues related to a potential mine expansion project in Colorado.”
“This really is a David and Goliath fight,” Godes said. “Every donation, every letter to the editor, every petition that you sign, every postcard that you send, every time you call your representative, it’s just one more rock in that sling.”
Local Glenwood Seventh Street restaurant Smoke Modern Barbeque fed the 200-plus in attendance at The Whole Shebang.
Upon entering the standing-room-only event, Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance volunteer Jim Minch politely offered patrons the nonprofit organization’s “Don’t Mine Glenwood” stickers.
“There were very few that turned them away,” Minch said. “Some people just don’t wear stickers.”
The city has set aside $1.25 million to fight RMR’s proposal to haul 450 truckloads of rock daily to fill up rail cars at a load-out facility minutes away from many of Glenwood Springs’ economic drivers.
“When I lived in Denver I didn’t even know what the Western Slope was,” Sue Kuhn said.
Wanting to live in a smaller community, Kuhn made the move to Glenwood Springs in 1978 and has called it home ever since.
“There are communities here and people here and livelihoods here,” Kuhn said. “It would just take the whole town away.”
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Studies by Colorado Parks and Wildlife show the survival of elk calves in the Roaring Fork Valley has dropped about 33 percent in the last decade. White River National Forest officials said they need to act to try to reserve that trend. They are seeking public comment on their plan.