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.
Photo credit: Steve-h via Flickr