All quiet on the Mid-Con strip mine front, so far | PostIndependent.com

All quiet on the Mid-Con strip mine front, so far

A Rocky Mountain Resources truck makes its way to the corner of Traver Trail and U.S. 6 in Glenwood Springs, en route from the Mid-Continent limestone quarry north of town.
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More than four months have passed since representatives from Rocky Mountain Resources went into a “quiet period” over the natural resource extraction company’s pending plans to greatly expand its limestone quarry operation above Glenwood Springs.

“We are currently in a quiet period and therefore have to decline an interview or statement,” company Vice President of Colorado Operations Bobby Wagner told the Post Independent in April. “We look forward to reconnecting with you after this time frame is over.”

However, while the company, which has offices in Denver and Los Angeles, remains silent regarding its eventual plans, the Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance that formed in early opposition to the proposal isn’t backing down.

According to the group’s website, www.loveglenwood.org, the alliance’s intention states in all capital letters: “STOP THE TRANSFER TRAIL MINE EXPANSION.”

The site also details how, as of Aug. 17, its petition had earned signatures from 917 citizens and 44 businesses. The movement has also recruited 231 volunteers.

“There is broad opposition to the magnitude that they are proposing,” said Alliance member Jeff Peterson, a resident of the Oasis Creek subdivision just below the so-called Mid-Continent mine site.

“With over a thousand individuals and businesses stating, on the record, that they are vehemently opposed to this, and more than 25 percent of them willing to volunteer their time to educate and engage, it says to me that this is recognized broadly as a bad thing for our community,” Peterson said.

As previously reported by the Post Independent, RMR has its eyes on expanding the current strip mine operation to between 260 and 300 acres of the mountainside north of Glenwood Springs, situated along the popular Transfer Trail four-wheel-drive access to the Flat Tops.

That equates to roughly 20 times the size of its existing undertaking. The company also would expand its number of truckloads per day to possibly 350, from 20 currently, and also wants the ability to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With mounting opposition forming not only in Glenwood Springs, but extending from Aspen to Rifle, the question of whether RMR will submit an application to expand the operation to the Bureau of Land Management anymore has yet to receive a final answer.

“We do not have a formal proposal yet from RMR,” David Boyd, BLM public affairs specialist for the Northwest Colorado District, said on Monday, reiterating what he said back in June. “I do not have an estimate for when we might.”

Although no formal proposal has come, the Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance still believes RMR has every intention to move forward with one, regardless of the community’s overwhelming stance against its expansion ideas.

“The Citizen’s Alliance is not interested in shutting down RMR’s [current] operation, provided they can operate safely and within their BLM and county permits,” Peterson also clarified.