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Glenwood Springs Launches 'Don't Strip Glenwood' Campaign To Fight Mining Expansion

Nov 15, 2019

Credit Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs launched their “Don’t Strip Glenwood” campaign Friday to fight against Rocky Mountain Resources, a company mining limestone a mile outside of city limits. 

Currently, Rocky Mountain Resources’ operates on about 15 acres at the Mid-Continent Quarry near the Transfer Trail. It runs seven days a week between 7 a.m and 5 p.m.

Now, the company is proposing to expand operations to 447 acres, increase extraction volume by 5,000% and operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day. 

Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes said Rocky Mountain Resources refuses to negotiate, so the city has no option but to push back. 

“What they’re proposing is so offensive to who we are. We have no option but to fight,” he said. 

The Mid Continent Quarry, the limestone mining site that is owned by Rocky Mountain Resources. It is currently operating at 15.7 acres, but the company is proposing to expand it to 447 acres and increase extraction volume by 5,000%.
Credit Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

The current mining site is hidden from most residents' view, but that would change if Rocky Mountain Resources' proposal is approved. City officials warn if operations are expanded by 5,000%, mountains that can be viewed from anywhere in town would be stripped down, and 500 round-trip trucks would travel on the city’s roads per day.

Lisa Langer, the director of tourism for Glenwood Springs, held back tears while she said that all of those changes would drastically affect the town’s business and tourism, which drives its economy. 

“I’m getting emotional because it is a big deal. It would impact us severely here,” she said. 

Godes said Glenwood Springs is a place for both Coloradans and tourists from other states and countries to see natural beauty and fun attractions that are hard to find elsewhere. 

A sign on the Transfer Trail, warning of large trucks transferring limestone from the Mid Continent Quarry.
Credit Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

“This is not a mining community. This is not an economic development opportunity that we would ever pursue,” Godes said. “This is a threat that we’re fighting.”

The City of Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance have been vocal about their opposition of Rocky Mountain Resources' proposal. By launching a formal campaign, Godes said it will foster both support inside and outside the town.

Currently, 216 local businesses and 1,881 residents have signed a petition opposing Rocky Mountain Resources’ expansion proposal. The city is funding the "Don't Strip Glenwood" campaign and has hired outside legal counsel.