BLM Asks For Public Opinion On Coal Mine Site

By: Allison Banzhof
By: Allison Banzhof

The energy boom here in Western Colorado affects the public lands and its people. That is why the Bureau of Land Management is embarking on an open and public process for a proposed new coal mine site on the Western Slope.

The potential site for the Red Cliff Coal Mine is located in the Book Cliffs near the base of Douglas Pass. Cam Colorado, LLC is the private company that wants to expand their current coal mine operations with an underground coal mine, that would include a railroad spur.

The railroad spur may cause some public controversy because it would pass through both public and private lands near Loma. The railroad spur would begin two miles east of Highway 139 and Mitchell Road, and run southeast towards Loma- where it would connect with the existing Union Pacific Railroad Line in Mack. The BLM first notified the public of the project last winter, and is now asking residents near the affected areas to come forward with their opinions regarding the coal mine.

The BLM estimates that this review process will take an estimated 18 months. And this August 24th, the BLM is hosting an open house that will be held from 4pm to 7pm at the Fruita Civic Center. The public is invited to meet and ask questions to the team working on the project. The open house is part of a 45 day public comment period, which closes on Monday, September 11th of this year.


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