Letter: Do the right thing and deny the mine | VailDaily.com

Letter: Do the right thing and deny the mine

As a current Cutthroat Angler employee, longtime fly fishing guide and 40-year resident of Colorado, I want to voice my strong opposition to the Rincon Materials mine. I’ve been hearing many legitimate objections being voiced. The mine is inconsistent with Dotsero’s Future Community Plan. There is no need for additional gravel from existing mines. The mine will permanently scar the land and negatively impact local residents. While I am absolutely and resolutely aligned with those objections, I’d like to add a few personal perspectives.

First, building the Rincon mine unnecessarily moves us closer toward the extinction of what can be thought of as the “remote Colorado River experience.” The upper reaches of the Colorado River have become a busy, cluttered and somewhat unpleasant experience for commercial and private boaters alike. The lower reaches of the river, from Catamount to Rincon, are more remote; less touched and less populated with river users. “It’s quiet down here” and “thanks for bringing me” are often heard during a float trip on the remote sections of the river. I rarely, if ever, hear either of those comments on floats above State Bridge.

Sadly, the “remote Colorado River experience” is disappearing before our eyes. Please don’t allow the mine to go forward; keep the lower river a bastion of “remoteness.” Even the most “tightly wound” person is renewed by these magical, remote floats.

Lastly, please consider the damage the mine’s trucks will have on the Colorado River Road itself. Current users are already brutalizing the dirt sections of the road. The paved sections are faring only marginally better. 2020 brought the worst conditions to the Colorado River Road I have experienced in 35 years. Additional truck traffic might break the current capabilities of the Colorado River Road. Do the right thing. Please.

Mitch Melichar


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