ROAR Disappointed in Court’s Decision, Weighing Further Appeal Options
February 12, 2015
Contact: Joan Anzelmo 307-699-3688
ROAR Disappointed in Court’s Decision / Weighing Further Appeal Options
Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR), the Colorado based all-volunteer organization opposing Christo's industrial scale Over the River (OTR) project is understandably disappointed in the appellate court’s decision.
The Court of Appeals today found that the Colorado State Parks board violated its own regulations when it approved the Over the River project, but then concluded that this violation did not matter and ultimately upheld the State's approval of the project. Because the State did not follow its own process, many citizens in Fremont and Chaffee counties were not able to present their views and facts to the State before its decision, and thus have not yet been heard by their government.
ROAR respectfully disagrees with the Court that denying legally prescribed processes to its citizens is acceptable.
We are carefully reviewing the opinion and considering our options with our legal counsel including the potential of a further appeal.
ROAR first filed its lawsuit against the Colorado Parks Board on July 22, 2011. In the suit ROAR alleged that the Colorado Parks Board violated Colorado statutes when it issued a Memorandum, of Agreement to Christo’s OTR Corporation instead of evaluating the project as a “Special Activity” as required by Colorado’s land and water regulations.
ROAR extends its deep appreciation to attorneys Connie Rogers, Geoff Klingsporn, R. Kirk Mueller and Maeve Gassaway with the Davis Graham & Stubbs law firm, who have generously donated their time to represent ROAR in its suit against the Colorado Parks Board.
ROAR has worked non-stop for nearly seventeen years to prevent Christo from being permitted to construct his OTR project in Bighorn Sheep Canyon and along the Arkansas River, now a Gold Medal designated river. ROAR believes that public lands should not be used in ways that prevent the public from freely using them for the purposes they were set aside for.
Additionally ROAR has repeatedly detailed its concerns regarding emergency access for the 5000 plus residents who live in the proposed OTR project area and for the many thousands who travel on US Highway 50 every day.
ROAR has also sounded the alarm about the anticipated impacts to countless species of wildlife, birds and fish should the OTR project ever be permitted to proceed including negative outcomes for bighorn sheep, bald eagles and native fish.
ROAR's work has successfully halted the OTR project to date. ROAR will continue to work to prevent the OTR project from ever being constructed in Bighorn Sheep Canyon and along the Gold Medal designated Arkansas River. http://www.roarcolorado.org