At Tuesday’s meeting, council approved a letter of concern from Mayor Stu Fraser to Bolero’s President and CEO, R. Bruce Duncan, that addresses the town’s viewpoint on the possibility of a new molybdenum mining operation that could bring up to 1,000 new workers to the region.
“While this may be viewed as economic development in your world, the housing transportation, environmental, and public infrastructure impacts associated with 1,000 new residents do not paint such a rosy picture in our world,” the letter states. “We have neither the capability nor the desire to host 1,000 new residents, particularly in the boom and bust cycles associated with the mining industry.”
The Anaconda Company, which owned the Rico property from 1979 through 1893, estimated that at least 198 million tons of molybdenum ore are available, and could produce up to 273 million pounds of molybdenum. By contrast, the Henderson Mine fifty miles west of Denver, the largest molybdenum producer in the world, has produced more than 160 million tons of ore and 770 million pounds of molybdenum since it started operations in 1976.
Bolero has paid a nonrefundable deposit of $100,000 to date, with another nonrefundable cash payment of $500,000 “due when Bolero is satisfied that it can receive free and clear title at closing,” according to the company’s website. Total purchase price is $10 million.
“The public statements attributable to your corporation with regard to the development of mining activities in the Rico area are both troubling and naïve,” the letter states. “…Your assertion that this community will have 1,000 future new residents seems to entitle us to an automatic seat at the table for any future discussions regarding the development of mining activities in the area.”
It is uncertain if and when the purchase-deal of the mineral rights will be completed.
Council Approves CCAASE Funding
On Tuesday, Telluride’s Town Council approved the Commission for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events funding recommendations for 2008.
Town council has appropriated $185,000 for the General Fund for Arts and Special Events and $136,000 for Community Assistance organizations. A total of 46 applicants applied for the 2008 funding.
In the community assistance category, the Telluride Academy received $12,000, KOTO Public Radio received $14,000 and the San Miguel Resource Center received $15,000 among 20 other recipients.
In the arts and special events category, the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities received $40,000, the Ah Haa School received $12,000 and Mountainfilm received $11,500 among 18 other recipients.
CCAASE is charged with the responsibility of reviewing applications and making recommendations to council for allocations of funds. This is the third year for CCAASE to review grant applications for Community Assistance applicants.
Town Sends Senators Letter in Support of Wild Horses
Although there are no wild horses tromping down Colorado Avenue or on the Valley Floor, there is the Spring Creek Herd in Disappointment Valley and the Telluride Town Council wants Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar to do a better job protecting them.
In a letter to Allard and Salazar, the town agrees with the National Mustang Association that “assurances need to be made that personal involvement with the wild horse management program have adequate training and proper knowledge of equine care, health and behavior, and herd management techniques.” The letter also states that appropriate funding needs to be insured to properly administer a herd management program.
The letter refers to the work of New Mexico filmmaker James Kleinert who recently illustrated the devastation wild horses have experienced on public lands in his documentary Saving the American Wild Horse. More recently, Kleinert documented the problems surrounding the preservation of the Spring Creek Herd in San Miguel and Dolores counties.
“The herd has a long and glorious history dating to the days of the Butch Cassidy gang who culled the herd for horses, as well as the indigenous Ute Indians and early immigrant settlers.”
With that, the town is asking Allard and Salazar to support HR-249 that would restore the prohibition of the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros. The bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives this past April and is now before the Senate.