Christo’s Opponents Launch Records Battle

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Two groups opposed to the upcoming “Over the River” art installation by Christo want federal regulators to turn over their permit records.
     Conceived by the Bulgarian artist whose full name is Christo Javacheff, “Over the River” aims to suspend 5.9 miles of silver fabric above sections of the Arkansas River between Salida and Canon City. In the face of lengthy litigation over the project, Christo has already marked 11 years since he unveiled “The Gates” in New York City’s Central Park with his now late wife Jean-Claude.
     ROAR, short for Rags Over the Arkansas River, has been fighting the Bureau of Land Management over Christo’s Ohio project since 2012, saying it threatens the key habitat for bighorn sheep.
     The 10th Circuit will announce soon whether it will revive ROAR’s challenge, having heard oral arguments on the case five months ago in Denver.
     ROAR joined another group called Friends of Animals in suing over the Christo project again Friday, this time under the Freedom of Information Act.
     The new lawsuit complains that the Bureau of Land Management improperly withheld public records regarding its renewal last year of Christo’s permit, something it says occurred without a public hearing. Christo’s opponents are represented by Jennifer Best, an attorney with Friends of Animals in Centennial, Colo.

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