Leading the fight to keep mining interests in Glenwood Springs at bay
In the summer of 2018, a group of deeply concerned locals met in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to discuss how they could protect the future of their mountain home against the effects of a proposal by Rocky Mountain Resources to expand an old strip mine just north of town by more than 2,000%. Out of those meetings grew the Glenwood Springs Citizens Alliance (GSCA, loveglenwood.org), an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)3 that has been rallying residents, businesses, and municipalities together against the outside interests of the mine company.
Jeff Peterson is one of the founding board members of the group and its current executive director. He is also a father, husband, and structural engineer with multi-generational roots in the area. “The mine is a very serious threat to every member of our community,” he says. “The permanent scar would be visible from almost everywhere in town.” With the expansion, annual production would increase from 100,000 tons to over 5,000,000 tons, along with similarly exponential growth in heavy truck traffic, blasting noise and dust. Blasting and drilling in the limestone also threaten the viability of Glenwood’s famed hot springs.
“This fight isn’t one against the extraction industry or a political one,” Peterson says. “The scale and location of the proposed mine is unacceptable. It’s a community issue and the future of Glenwood will depend on the outcome.”