Over The River™ Record of Decision
Bureau of Land Management Issues Record of Decision
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office released the Record of Decision (ROD) approving the Over The River™ (OTR) temporary art installation. The project, proposed by the artist Christo, will include suspending eight fabric panel segments totaling 5.9 miles within a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado.
Over The River is estimated to generate $121 million in economic output and draw 400,000 visitors during construction and display. The construction is anticipated to begin in 2012, culminating in a two-week display in August 2014. The OTR Corp has projected a cost $50 million for construction that will be covered by the project proponent.
In the ROD, the BLM selects the preferred alternative identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was released on July 29, 2011. The selected alternative is alternative 1A, the artists’ proposal, with substantial mitigation measures to protect resources and public safety.
The adopted mitigation measures are the result of significant cooperative efforts between the BLM, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol, State Historic Preservation Office and Chaffee and Fremont counties. The project is expected to provide substantial economic benefit to Colorado while protecting and preserving the natural and human resources of Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The project will offer a unique recreational experience in the river corridor while balancing resource protection and tourism.
Appeals to the Record of Decision
BLM received 2 appeals to its Record of Decision for the Over The River project from:
- ArkAnglers, LLC and Arkansas River Fly Shop, Inc.
- Rocky Smith, Tom Sobal for the Quiet Use Coalition, Jean C. Smith
These appeals will be heard by the Interior Board of Land Appeals. IBLA will determine the merits of the appeals and how the BLM decision is affected.