FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

STOP THE PIT!!!

STOP THE PIT!!!

Fighting for our Blue River Valley and Way of Life:

Here’s how you can help fight the Gravel Pit proposed for the Lower Blue River Valley. Please review and if you have any questions, contact me.

Jonathan Knopf
FOLBR Executive Director
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Background:

Peak Materials has filed a permit application to mine the former Julie Hillyard property, now referred to as Peak Ranch Resource. The company has chosen to first seek the state permit from the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS) (File No. M2020041). The Mining Land Reclamation Board (MLRB-part of the DRMS) will make a decision on Peak’s application by December 17, 2020. There will be a public hearing most likely in November for both opponents and proponents, to address the MLRB.

Your voice is very important to this fight. If you choose to attend the hearing, you will either be able to attend in-person or virtually, depending on how the hearing is formatted. Here are your options:

  1. Send a letter to the MLRB requesting to be heard at the public hearing as a “Party” in the discussion. (explanation below)
  2. Send a letter to the MLRB with your thoughts, concerns and opposition to Peak Ranch Resource. (not necessarily intending to attend the hearing)

This is very important:

Sending a Letter with “Party” Status:

“Party” means “a person or entity who demonstrates that they are directly or adversely affected or aggrieved by the conduct of a mining operation, proposed mining operation or another of the Board and whose interest is entitled to legal protection under the Act.” Under the rules, “aggrieved” is defined as “suffering actual loss or injury, or being exposed to a potential loss or injury, to legitimate interests. Such interests include, but are not limited to, business, economic, government, recreational, or conservational interests.

If you wish to testify during the public comment portion of the public hearing, here are some suggested grievances, based upon the gravel pit’s adverse impact on:

  1. Water well quantity and/or quality
  2. Wildlife safety and migration (including the Blue River fishery),
  3. The Blue River waterway
  4. Air quality in the Lower Blue River Valley
  5. Safety hazards created from 230 truck trips per day to and from Peak Ranch Resource and Peak’s processing plant near Maryland Creek Ranch in Silverthorne

In your letter you can also express opposition to put a gravel mine in the middle of a rural agrarian valley. An area filled with:

  1. Federal Wilderness areas on both sides of the Highway 9 corridor
  2. Thousands of acres of County protected Open Space
  3. Thousands of acres of ranch land forever protected from development by conservation easements
  4. The Blue River, once a Gold Medal trout stream looking to restore that status
  5. Wildlife that will be adversely impacted by from noise and air pollution created by 230 truck trips per day to and from the Peak Ranch Resource and the Peak processing plant near Maryland Creek Ranch in Silverthorne
  6. Residents who will be adversely impacted by from noise and air pollution created by 230 truck trips per day to and from the Peak Ranch Resource and the Peak processing plant near Maryland Creek Ranch in Silverthorne
  7. Pristine natural beauty and no existing industrial activity
  8. The protections from Summit County's Lower Blue Master Plan, which deems any industrial activity is antithetical to the natural, rural, and economic values and sustainability of the Blue River Valley and forever protected from development by conservation easements

If you wish to express opposition in a letter, but not appear at the public hearing, please do so. All the talking points above apply as well as any other concerns you might have.

Here is a suggested letter format:

(Date)

Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety
1313 Sherman St.
Denver, CO 80203

RE: Application by Peak Ranch Resource (File No. M2020041)

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to seek Party status to testify about the above-mentioned application by Peak Materials to establish a gravel mining operation at the site designated as Peak Ranch Resource.

I am specifically aggrieved by this proposed project for the following reasons:
(provide relevant narrative)

I wish to be heard at the public hearing of the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board when the Board takes up this application. Please add me to your email distribution list notifying interested parties of the date, time, location and format for this meeting.

Sincerely,
(Your Signature)
(Your Legal Name)
(Your Legal Address)
(Your Mailing Address if different)
(Your Telephone Number)
(Your Email address)
Number of people in your household

What happens if the State denies or approves the Peak Ranch Resource application?

If the State denies The Peak Ranch Resource application, the proposed gravel mine will be defeated. If the State approves the application and issues a permit, the company would be required to apply for two Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) with Summit County. One to allow mining at the Peak Ranch Resource site. A second CUP allowing the company to import aggregate material to its processing site near Maryland Creak Ranch in Silverthorne. The Lower Blue Planning Commission would first hold a public hearing to listen to input for and against these permits. This is another opportunity for your voices to be heard. The Planning Commission would make a recommendation for or against the CUPs to the Summit Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).

If the Planning Commission denies the Conditional Use Permits, Peak Materials may appeal to the BOCC. And yes, if the Company exercises that option, there will be another opportunity for you to comment at a public hearing before the Summit County Commissioners. That would likely occur in 2021 and a new Board of County Commissioners will be in place.

On the subject of the BOCC

On November 3, voters will elect a new Summit County Board of County Commissioners. Getting to know the candidates is an important part of the process. Elisabeth Lawrence is running for re-election in District 1 and Josh Blanchard is running in District 3. Both have roles prohibiting them from discussing Peak Ranch Resource. Ms. Lawrence is a sitting County Commissioner and Mr. Blanchard is a FOLBR member who sits on the Lower Blue Planning Commission. We do not want to do anything that could create a conflict of interest, resulting in legal action from Peak Materials. As for the other candidates running for District 1, 2 and 3, feel free to determine their position on the gravel pit, the environment, open space, climate change, etc.

We will keep you informed

Friends of the Lower Blue River (FOLBR) and our partner organization Lower Blue Residents United (LBRU) will continue to keep you informed about Peak Ranch Resource every step of the way. Both our organizations are committed to defeating this proposed intrusion to the pristine beauty and quiet grace of the Blue River Valley. LBRU is going to provide expert witness testimony to the State and County decision-makers about water, wildlife, transportation, reclamation, and more.

To stay connected, join Friends of the Lower Blue River’s Facebook page for daily information about our County environment, wildlife, open space, water and the gravel pit. Keeping in touch with both of our organizations will provide you with the latest updates in the effort to STOP THE PIT!!!

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PO Box 2191
Silverthorne, CO 80498

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