Letter to the editor: What you must do now to stop the gravel pit

John Fielder

Reporter Taylor Sienkiewicz and columnist Susan Knopf recently wrote in the Summit Daily News about Peak Materials’ August gravel mine permit application to Colorado’s Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. I am the executive director of Lower Blue Residents United, which was formed in 2018 to lead the fight to stop this plan that will negatively impact the lower Blue River valley. It is important that those of you concerned with permitting industrial activity along the banks of the lower Blue River understand what state law allows us to do.

Peak Materials must get permits from state and county, and it has chosen to go to the state first. The state rarely denies gravel mine permits, and when it does, it is because of testimony from expert witnesses at a mandatory hearing about why mining would adversely impact water quality and quantity in local wells and, in our case, the Blue River. Wildlife issues are also a basis for permit denial. Lower Blue Residents United has hired experts to present convincing evidence about water, wildlife, the fishery, transportation and reclamation to the state later this year. We are confident that we can stop the pit at this stage.

It costs a lot of money to hire experts. Please consider making a generous tax-deductible donation to Lower Blue Residents United by credit card or check. has information about donating and how to express your opinion to the state and even participate in the hearing.

One last thought: Lower Blue Residents United has presented several options to Peak Materials to economically mine gravel elsewhere. Our plan allows the lower Blue River to remain untouched without impacting Summit County build-out. If the state does permit the mine, Lower Blue Residents United will stop the pit at the county level in 2021 with this testimony.

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