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BLM moves against anti-Christo group
By Robert Boczkiewicz, via the Pueblo Chieftain
DENVER — The federal government is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit that seeks to block a massive art installation by the internationally known artist Christo along the Arkansas River.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which approved the project last year, contends the lawsuit should be dismissed because an appeal of BLM's approval already is pending.
A Canon City-based group, Rags Over the Arkansas River, filed the lawsuit in February in U.S. District Court to stop Christo's "Over the River."
Last week's request from the BLM to throw out the lawsuit was the government's first response to it in court.
The agency, in a court filing, seeks dismissal of the lawsuit "because the very action that plaintiff challenges is currently subject to administrative appeal before the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals."
The board considers appeals of actions taken by the BLM and other Interior department agencies, including an appeal of the BLM's approval of the projectt.
Christo proposes to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric panels in eight sections over a 42-mile stretch of the river between Canon City and Salida.
The board's decision "could potentially moot or alter" the claims in the opposition lawsuit, BLM stated in the filing. Senior Judge John Kane has not yet set hearings on the case.