I believe the Bureau of Land Management should deny any expansion of the Salida Hard Rock operation for two obvious reasons:
Location - Salida was a much smaller town when Hard Rock started mining, cement and asphalt operations in 1977 and when the BLM gave permission to first mine on public land.
Even on its existing footprint, Hardrock is not a good neighbor, creating noise, dust and safety issues for the adjoining private property owners and all users of our public land near Salida.
Resource value - This 50 acres of our public land currently serves many purposes that generate economic value through recreation, tourism and healthy living conditions for all our citizens.
The BLM recognized these values when it granted permission to construct the Solstice Trail four years ago.
Visitors come here to enjoy hiking and biking on Methodist Mountain, and they spend big money in our shops, restaurants, motels and bars.
This is just ordinary rock under the 50 acres in question, not some valuable rare earth metal needed for jet engines, electric cars or medical devices.
In addition, expansion will erode the values for private land owners on Methodist Mountain.
Conclusion, the BLM should deny this expansion request and Hard Rock can move its operations to a new, less populated area.
As U.S. citizens, we are all owners of these 50 acres.
I urge everyone to send a comment opposing Hardrock’s application to the BLM before Sept. 30. The URL Is go.usa.gov/xf5TN