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Dear Editor,

I believe BLM should deny ANY expansion of the Salida Hard Rock operation for two obvious reasons:

LOCATION – Salida was a much smaller town when Hard Rock started mining, cement and asphalt operations in 1977 and when BLM gave permission to first mine on public lands. Even on its existing footprint, Hardrock is not a good neighbor, creating noise, dust, and safety issues for the adjoining private property owners and all users of our public lands near Salida.

RESOURCE VALUE – This 50 acres of our public lands currently serves many purposes that generate economic value through recreation, tourism and healthy living conditions for ALL our citizens. The BLM recognized these values when it granted permission to construct the Solstice Trail 4 years ago. Visitors come here to enjoy hiking and biking on Methodist Mountain, and they spend big money in our shops, restaurants, motels and bars. This is just ordinary rock under the 50 acres in question, not some valuable rare earth metal needed for jet engines, electric cars or medical devices. In addition, expansion will erode the property values for private landowners on Methodist Mountain.

Conclusion: the BLM should deny this expansion request and Hard Rock can move its operations to a new, less populated area.

As US citizens, we are ALL owners of these 50 acres. I urge everyone to send a comment opposing Hardrock’s application to the BLM before Sept. 30. The URL is go.usa.gov/xf5TN

Roger Cox
Salida