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Dear Editor,

When Envision Chaffee County asked residents in 2017 what they valued most about Chaffee County, residents across incomes, ages, and perspectives consistently pointed toward the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Hard Rock paving and Redi-mix truck. Image courtesy of their public Facebook page.

The 2020 Comprehensive Plan says “The friendly, small-town character that the County is known for is born from residents who feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place, and value their high quality of life.”

These assets support tourism that contributes 33 percent of our economy, and they attract retirees who contribute another 28 percent.

On August 10, 2020 Hard Rock Paving & Redi-Mix requested an expansion onto an additional 50 acres of public land, including the area where the Methodist Mountain “Solstice” trail is located. (They were denied an expansion request in 1998.)

The Hard Rock property is about one-half mile from the southern city limits of Salida. If the residents of Salida don’t want the additional dust and gravel truck traffic and the vista of a stripped hillside with a larger mine on the edge of town, they need to let the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] know how they feel. Every comment sent before September 9th will be evaluated. Please send the BLM your thoughts at

Dave Ditchkus