Christo sketch for "Over the River"
It's not our Arkansas River, unfortunately, but Colorado's section that the installation artist Christo
and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, designed that could be covered in six miles of silk fabric, thanks to the resolution of a lawsuit.
The installation, "Over the River,"
was contested in court by the "Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR)"
organization, which opposes it on the grounds that the art would endanger animals in and along the river. They sued the Bureau of Land Management in 2012. The federal ruling said officials had complied with environmental assessment requirements.
The installation, which would run from Canon City to Salida, would run during a two-week period in August 2018, if all goes as planned. ROAR plans to keep fighting the installation.
Christo says he will take steps to protect wildlife. From the project website:
The construction and viewing periods have been carefully scheduled around breeding and nesting seasons. Construction buffer zones will be created near potentially active eagle nests and around designated sheep areas. Christo will entirely fund a new wildlife corridor that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has long sought, thus providing an improvement for bighorn sheep that will last long after Over The River is removed. Because of these and more than 100 other mitigation measures, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) determined in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that there will be no “Significant Impacts” to any terrestrial, avian or aquatic wildlife as a result of Over The River.
Another lawsuit in state court has not been resolved.
Christo has been at the wrapping game for a long time. Below is his 1969 installation, a wrapped bay in Sidney, Australia: