BY P. SOLOMON BANDA, Associated Press Writer
DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers say artist Christo’s plan to drape fabric over several miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado would have a significant impact on recreation and traffic, with an estimated 350,000 people expected to flock to the area to view it.
The Bureau of Land Management released its draft environmental study Friday on Christo’s “Over the River” project, adding that the “unprecedented” effort could have a moderate to significant impact on bighorn sheep and historical sites.
Steve Coffin, a Denver-based spokesman for the project, said any impact would be temporary.
Christo wants to use a system of anchors, frames and cables to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric across eight spots along a 42-mile stretch of the river. The BLM studied seven versions of the project, including a scaled-down effort.
Coffin said the alternatives were not developed in consultation with Christo and that the artist would push for the full project. He said Christo has already comprised and scaled down what originally was seen as a 10.4-mile project. Read more
Colorado’s native bighorn sheep population is declining (down about 10 percent from 2001 to 2009), and biologists are scrambling to find a way to bolster the breed.
The problems, according to an article in the Denver Post, include construction, disease, traffic, other live stock — and mountain goats, a nonnative species that was originally reintroduced outside of Salida.
Sounds like the worst of it is outside Colorado, but it’s still sad.
Via the AP:
Pneumonia outbreaks that have killed hundreds of bighorn sheep this winter in several Western states have wildlife officials grappling with how to minimize the impact.Wildlife officials say the disease shows up sporadically in wild herds, but its unusual to have so many outbreaks in so many states. More than 400 bighorn sheep in Nevada, Montana, Utah and Washington have died – or been killed by wildlife officials – this winter, and the death toll is expected to rise in coming weeks.