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The Solstice Trail in Salida, Co may be at Risk After a Proposed Mine Expansion

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The Solstice Path in Salida, Co could also be at Threat After a Proposed Mine Growth

Photograph courtesy of Greg Heil

A gravel mine enlargement in Salida, Colorado might affect the newly constructed Solstice path, a well-liked experience on Methodist Mountain within the small, excessive desert city.

At the moment, the Bureau of Land Administration (BLM) Royal Gorge Subject Workplace is of their scoping course of for the proposal, initiated by a request from the Arduous Rock Paving & Redi-Combine Primary Pit combination mine, additionally based mostly in Salida. The paving firm utilized to increase their mine so as to improve combination gravel reserves, which can be utilized to provide asphalt and concrete, to allow them to mitigate any potential future provide interruptions.

The proposed enlargement would add 50 acres to the corporate’s space, increasing the lifetime of the mine by 40 years in line with the BLM’s project page. If totally mined, the proposed space would get rid of nearly the entire Solstice path, in-built 2019. The SMT says that the approval course of for Solstice began in 2013 and was lastly accepted in 2017. Following that, SMT says they raised about $50,000 to construct the path and it has since turn out to be some of the well-liked trails in Salida. Constructing mountain bike trails is much from low-cost and sometimes financed by grassroots efforts.

“It’s inconceivable to approve a mining enlargement that might destroy this path that was totally accepted by the BLM after years of formal BLM course of, together with an in depth environmental evaluation and two rounds of public feedback,” stated the SMT in a press launch.

Brian Sack, the supervisor of Arduous Rock says that it isn’t their intention in any respect to destroy the path nevertheless. We reached out to Arduous Rock over the cellphone.

“We labored facet by facet with Salida Mountain Trails to resolve our boundaries.” Sack says they labored with SMT to provide you with the boundaries final yr and was not conscious that the proposed enlargement would have an effect on the path.

SMT hasn’t but responded to our inquiries. In their very own press launch, SMT didn’t point out that that they had labored along with Arduous Rock, simply that they “urge the BLM to require that the enlargement space NOT have an effect on the Solstice Path in anyway.”

Stephanie Carter, a consultant with the BLM clarified. She says that Arduous Rock utilized for an enlargement in 2018, after the Solstice path had been accepted, however earlier than it had been constructed, explaining that that they had coordinated with the SMT for his or her boundaries.

“On the subject of our course of, we take within the software from Arduous Rock. On that preliminary software, no matter modifications they’ve based mostly on discussions in regards to the bike path, every other alternate options which may come up by the scoping course of, after which all of these alternate options or choices get finalized within the environmental evaluation.” The evaluation will happen after the general public scoping course of.

After one other spherical of public enter on the draft environmental evaluation and one other evaluation, the BLM will then decide. Though it looks as if a simple selection to go away the Solstice path in place, particularly contemplating that the corporate who’s making use of for enlargement says that they don’t need to contact it both, the BLM says that they aren’t certain but what is going to occur.

“It’s too early to inform,” says Carter. Components within the evaluation like recreation, financial yield from each selections, archeology and extra will all come into play. Carter says she has obtained lots of enter thus far although and acknowledges the working relationship between Arduous Rock and SMT.

“I believe everyone seems to be making an attempt to be a great neighbor in these coordination discussions. It’s not about that, it’s simply typical of the BLM to check out public use and all of the totally different pursuits and [see] how that appears and what the easiest way is to maneuver ahead.”

Within the BLM’s press launch they famous that “non-energy minerals on the BLM lands in Colorado generated roughly $194 million in financial output and supported 650 jobs.”

The most effective factor to do for the time being for anybody involved in regards to the path, is to place feedback ahead to the BLM throughout their scoping course of, through their website, or the mission supervisor’s e mail, additionally listed on the mission web page. The remark interval closes on September 30.

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