Ken Salazar Weighs in on Controversial Art Installation

A controversial outdoor art installation, “Over the River,” has been causing waves in rural Colorado. The 2-year project would drape 6 miles of fabric over the Arkansas River, but critics opposing the project on environmental grounds have filed two lawsuits in an attempt to block it from going forward.

With recent approval from Fremont County, Colorado, the massive and controversial project is one step closer to approval. Earlier this month, Colorado native and US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar weighed in on the project at a conference at Colorado College:

I support the project. The record of decision was signed by the BLM, but I was aware of what was going on and I agree with the decision. It seems to me that it’s important for a couple reasons. The first is that it brings attention to our rivers, and one of the planks of our ‘Great Outdoors Agenda’ is to have a focus on rivers and river restoration… One of the things that the Christo project will do is it will bring renewed attention to the rivers of America. So that’s one impeller for the project — the other is the economics of it. When you look at Chaffee County and Fremont County and that whole area… [rafting] is a huge job creator for that part of the Arkansas River Basin, so I think it’s a good project.

The project still needs to receive the go-ahead from Chaffee County, the Colorado State Department of Transportation, and the State Patrol before set-up for the 2015 debut can begin.


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Photo credit: Steve-h via Flickr

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Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright3 years ago

Perhaps I'm just an idiot, but what is the purpose of this "project"?

And yes, Salazar and the BLM are two of the biggest jokes on this planet. They are no friends to the animals.

Mark Donners
Mark Donners3 years ago

Salazar is an idiot. He's a liar and supporter of big oil and big corporations first.

Charles R.
Charles R.3 years ago

Based on a number of polls, the Colorado public is against Christo's project by at least a 2:1 margin. Salazar is yet one more example of how badly our government and elected officials are misrepresenting our interests.

I can't believe that our government will allow Christo to drill 9000 six inch diameter holes many feet into the rocky banks of the Arkansas.

Maria M.
Maria M.3 years ago

Ken Salazar is a boob.. and the BLM is a joke

DeAnna Collins
DeAnna Collins3 years ago


Georgia Armstrong
Georgia a.3 years ago

I must be an artist too. I can drape fabric across my front yard. Can Christo do anything but this. Boring! I'm in sync with Ernie M. - what's going to happen to the eagles and other birds that hunt that river? And just how much will it end up costing us taxpayers?

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR3 years ago

how many hundreds of billions are we in debt and this gets government funding?

yeah the Obama Administration is really serious about budget issues...

M.E. W.
M.E. W.3 years ago

Cristo has been doing this exact thing for overdone idea that should be retired. Can't he think of anything else to do? This is another money-maker event for Cristo, at the expense of of nature.

John Mansky
John Mansky3 years ago

Thank you for the article... Fabric???

Karen and Ed O.
Karen and Ed O.3 years ago

Oh no, Christo is at it again? Why can't he leave the environment alone. Shakespeare, as usual, said it best in "The Winter's Tale":

"Yet Nature is made better by no mean
But Nature makes that mean; so over that art,
Which you say adds to Nature, is an art,
That Nature makes."