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To preserve and protect the headwaters of the Arkansas River, the Bighorn Sheep Canyon, its inhabitants and the communities that depend upon them.



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News and Events

"It was the federal court, and thanks to ROAR's lawsuit, that the delay imposed on Over the River is happening. It is not Christo's choice as he seems to be suggesting,"
-Joan Anzelmo, ROAR Spokesperson

September 12: Judge John Kane ordered Christo's Over The River Corporation (OTR) not to begin construction without adequate notice to the Court and all parties. His decision essentially prohibits any OTR construction until the court authorizes it.
Read ROAR's media statement.

Online ART mag "Hyperallergic" reports "Judge Officially Pauses Christo's Colorado Project." (Published Sept.18 reporting the Sept. 12 ruling.)

August 14: Judge Issues Amended Stay for OTR Project
Federal District Judge John Kane has issued the Amended Stay Order in ROAR's lawsuit against BLM, largely favoring ROAR's amendment requests filed July 27. Specified points include:

  • The BLM shall not grant/authorize a Notice to Proceed for any portion of the project during the pendency of the Smith appeal before the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA).
  • The amendment grants ROAR 60 days after completion of the third party IBLA appeal before any OTR work can begin.
  • Judge Kane has ordered both parties to do a joint case management plan, including lodging of the record within 45 days in preparation of future legal proceedings following completion of the administrative appeal.
ROAR is very appreciative of Judge Kane's quick action, and his amended Stay with the conditions and time frames included in the amended Stay.

Scroll down to read the July 27 Motion and other Federal lawsuit background info.

Other Recent News and Developments:

August 2: Local and National Media cover Christo's announcement of OTR's indefinite delay. Links to some of the stories include:

July 31, 2012: Christo announces further delay of OTR, due to lawsuits.

Friday, July 27: ROAR filed a motion in U.S. District Court to ask Judge Kane to amend his Stay issued on July 5, to more strictly accomplish his stated intent to have BLM pause all OTR work while a third party administrative appeal is being considered by the Interior Board of Land Appeals. In part, the motion stated "in order to effectuate the Court's intent, and to preserve the status quo, ROAR requests that the Court amend its order granting the stay to require that BLM be prohibited from issuing the Notice to Proceed to OTR before 180 days after a final decision is issued on the administrative appeal and/or the stay is lifted."

Read the motion document.

Read summary of the motion as explained in press release.

Pueblo Chieftain reports "Group renews its ROAR".

Background Info

On July 5, 2012, Judge Kane denied BLM's motion to dismiss ROAR's lawsuit. Additionally, he stayed progress of the suit pending the outcome of a separately filed administrative appeal by an individual to the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

Judge Kane ordered BLM, as the defendant, to monitor and effectuate the fact that OTR is expected to honor the Stay he issued, and commence no action on the BLM's November 2011 permit to authorize OTR construction.

On February 1, 2012, Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR) filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The suit alleges BLM violated the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when they approved the "Over the River" project proposed by the artist Christo Javacheff. ROAR is represented by student attorneys from the University of Denver's Environmental Law Clinic under the guidance of Professor Mike Harris. Professor Harris directs the Environmental Law Clinic which is a part of DU's Sturm College of Law.

The Judge's order stated: "While OTR is expected to honor the Stay and commence no action on the agency's November 2011 construction authorization until the administrative appeals process has run its course, OTR is not a party to this action and preservation of the status quo is thus up to Defendants to monitor and effectuate."

Read Judge Kane's document.

Read more in Denver Post and Canon City Daily Record.

Online writer reacts to an NPR story on OTR.

Local Electric Service Co-op concerned about construction and panels under their lines. Read about it.

Prior News and Information

ROAR lawsuit press conference

  • March 28, 2012: Fremont County approved Temporary Use Permit for “Over the River.” The Commissioners issued the permit with 35 conditions that OTR Corporation must meet, including payments to the county to repay at least some of the costs taxpayers have borne so far. Check Fremont County's website for their posting of the permit conditions.
    ROAR was disappointed but not surprised at this decision. “The 2.5-year construction phase is similar to a mining operation. There will be massive amounts of drilling equipment and cranes, 9,000 holes drilled into the canyon,” ROAR spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo told the Denver Post. “It's so mind-boggling to think the agencies responsible for protecting wildlife and the good of the public have approved this project.”
  • February 1, 2012: DU Law School students filed a lawsuit against BLM on behalf of ROAR. See news reports and videos.
  • BLM's EIS Record of Decision (ROD) was released Nov. 7, 2011. The public had 30 days to appeal the EIS to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA), which is a board of Judges in Washington, D.C. Appeals do not halt the start of the project, which could still be implemented if all other permits are obtained and BLM issues the Notice to Proceed.
  • Two parties initially filed appeals within the required 30 days. One party subsequently withdrew their appeal; the other is active and is in process. It is this appeal that caused the stay in ROAR's federal lawsuit against BLM. We'll try to keep you posted on this appeal as information becomes available.

OTR cannot begin, however, until BLM issues the "Notice to Proceed." Several other permits must also be obtained for OTR to begin the project.

July 22, 2011 - Local Businesses and Citizen Group Sue State Parks, Demand Public Process in “Over the River” Decision. Read about it.

Read the Parks'/OTR Agreement and ROAR's formal comments.


How to find out more

Docs & Pics page.

How to get involved

Become involved in ROAR's efforts to stop this destructive project in the Arkansas River's Bighorn Sheep Canyon.
You can help us most right now with your monetary contribution or membership. Click the PayPal icon at left. This will help us with the current lawsuit against State Parks and Wildlife in their approval of OTR as documented in the Memorandum of Agreement.
email us. (Visit our contact page for other options.)