Colorado’s rivers don’t need artificial improvements or enhancements
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — After traveling 14,000 miles and inspecting 89 rivers in the Rocky Mountains, you’d think that Christo would come to the realization that our spectacular streams don’t need much in the way of artistic improvement. Yet the Bulgarian-born artist continues to pursue his Over The River project despite serious opposition, criticism and questions from citizen groups, hunters and anglers and even the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
The installation has also drawn some public support, notably from Gov. Hickenlooper, who cited the potential statewide tourism benefits of the project, and from the Colorado State Parks board, which, for reasons many people don’t understand, voted to approve a memorandum of understanding with Christo that promises to address and mitigate the project’s impacts. By some estimates, the installation could attract anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million visitors to the area.
The industrial-scale installation would involve temporarily draping more than five miles of fabric paneling across a wild stretch of the Arkansas River between Cañon City and Salida. After finding little support for his concept in the Arkansas Valley, Christo today is appearing in Eagle County at a Vail Symposium event that’s part of an arts in education series (July 19, 5 p.m. at the Lodge at Vail). Continue reading