Hello residents of the Lower Blue River Valley and interested friends....here's an update:

Peak Materials, operators of the Maryland Creek gravel mine and batch plant, purchased the 80-acre Hillyard property last fall. They held an informational open house in December, however, have yet to file for Conditional Use Permits with the county for either property. They must acquire a permit to mine the Hillyard property and update their existing permit to allow importation of materials from there to the Maryland Creek property at the north end of Silverthorne. Once they file for permits, the Lower Blue Planning Commission will hold a hearing 3 months later.

Mining the Hillyard Property
Peak Materials has said that the Hillyard property will be mined for 10 years, then reclaimed. The aggregate must be transported 7 miles to the Maryland Creek batch plant for processing. The number of trucks coming and going per day will be 115, so 230 accounting for both directions. This means a truck every 3 minutes 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Maryland Creek Planned Life
Peak Materials currently excavates aggregate from Cell #4 at Maryland Creek. They have said this will continue through 2019, then use materials from the Hillyard property 2020 - 2030. They have also suggested that they will then open Cell #5 at Maryland Creek and mine it 2031 - 2038. Finally (for sure?), they will mine Cell #6 at Maryland Creek 2038 - 2058. This includes the land under the processing plant.

Kremmling Alternative
Peak Materials also owns 3 gravel pits near Kremmling, 1 on the Yust Ranch, and 2 more east of Kemmling along Highway 40. They have said that if they they do not get permission from the county to mine the Hillyard property, that they will mine the Kremmling properties instead and transport the aggregate to Maryland Creek 35 miles along Highway 9 with the same 230 one way truck trips. 

We Must Oppose Both Permits
This is why Lower Blue Residents United must oppose both the application to mine the Hillyard property and the application to allow importation of materials to Maryland Creek. In both cases our valley would suffer the effects of dangerous truck traffic on an already busy Highway 9. 

The Safety of All Valley Residents, Visitors, and Drivers is at Stake
Imagine the safety issues related to the countless vehicle turns into and out of the many side roads between Maryland Creek and Ute Pass Road, and those from there to Kremmling. Imagine the noise impact on humans and wildlife, the air pollution from diesel exhaust of high-revving engines shifting their gears through the canyons, the scenics views impacted by a veritable freight train of truck traffic, as well as the impact on all of those tourists looking forward to their bucolic drive to Steamboat Springs!
Mule deer in the Williams Fork Mountains, John Fielder
We are only $10,000 short of our goal to raise the funds necessary to present our case to the Lower Blue Planning Commission....
Lower Blue Residents United fully expects to receive status from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which makes your donation deductible. We have done our legal diligence, but the process has been delayed by the government shutdown. Do not delay your contribution to LBRU. Make your contribution now by credit card HERE. Or send your check today to:

Lower Blue Residents United
c/o John Fielder
POB 26890
Silverthorne CO 80497

The amount should reflect just how badly you do not wish to see gravel mining in the Lower Blue Valley!
Autumn 2018 Lower Blue Valley, John Fielder
Our chief strategist, Harris Sherman, and I have been interviewing potential expert witnesses....

To evaluate the impacts of gravel mining in our valley upon:
  • Wildlife...we have massive populations of elk, mule deer, moose, birds, and more, seasonally in the valley bottom.
  • Our beloved Blue River. Water must be both taken from the river and returned to it by the gravel operation. How will this impact water quality and quantity? How will local water wells be impacted? What happens to the trout fishery?
  • Property values
  • Transportation issues related to safety, noise, air pollution, and structural integrity of Highway 9
  • County Open Space, Federal Wilderness Areas, and ranches protected by conservation easements
These witnesses will testify at the Lower Blue Planning Commission hearing when it happens. If it recommends denial of Conditional Use Permits, we would expect Peak Materials to appeal the decision to the Summit County Commission. Those witnesses will be hired again to make their case to that body.
Colorado Open Lands, our state's largest land trust, has agreed to help Lower Blue Residents United with its operations and fundraising....

COL has a vested interest in the Lower Blue Valley via its work through the years to protect Summit County ranches from development forever with the use of conservation easements. They will help LBRU develop a website in the near future.

For now, though, please share these email transmissions with your friends and neighbors. Encourage them to give me their email address by replying to this email, and I will add them to our list. And encourage them to donate now!

Thank you for your generous support...

John Fielder
Executive Director
Lower Blue Residents United
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