There is a decision coming Tuesday from the county commissioners that has the potential to forge the legacy for this sitting body.
Disingenuously obscured under the sobriquet "Little Fishes," and disguised with a series of mining pits euphemistically called aquatic ponds, a gravel pit is two votes away from despoiling a riparian meadow in a residential neighborhood on historic La Posta Road.
Every vision and hope we have for responsible growth in La Plata County is in jeopardy if this Class II mining permit is approved by our elected representatives Tuesday. This is not what we want and envision for the future of our county. It’s just not good stewardship, and certainly not in the spirit and voice of our soon-to-be-sprung Comprehensive Plan.
This is a sneaky and dangerous vote put before this board. A vote to approve this highly visible contradiction to responsible growth sullies any commissioner’s credibility, perhaps irreversibly. This odious for-profit project is the destruction of highly visible wildlife habitat, rip-raping a blue-ribbon fishery to permanently alter the natural flow of the Animas, a source point of enormous dust pollution, industrial noise and constant truck traffic, all within visual and hearing distance of many homes and motorists using a famous and scenic byway into Durango.
Be careful with this one, commissioners. It has potential for enduring regret and a tarnished reputation. And it may be Commissioner Joelle Riddle’s last big decision in elected office.
Jeff Mannix, Durango