When Bill Koch purchased the Bear Ranch land, he knew that a public right-of-way existed through the ranches. Whatever the reasons, apparently that is no longer acceptable — as evidenced through the efforts being made to create the land exchange.
Those of us that live in the areas surrounding Leroux Creek also purchased our land knowing what we were getting. A coal mine wasn't one of them. The potential impacts of this development will dramatically change the nature and character of this area —industrialization, noise, traffic and dust will be highly impactful on the quality of life that has been established here. We would characterize these potentially significant shifts and changes to the essence of this neighborhood we call home a tragedy. We understand that the proposal for mining Oak Mesa is still in early stages and decisions for the location of the portal and load out will much depend on results of the preliminary test drilling that's to take place this summer. We are writing to implore Mr. Koch to utilize all means necessary to develop existing infrastructure in conjunction and in collaboration with Bowie Resources' operations to access these coal deposits rather than developing the operation through Leroux Creek and Stingley Gulch. He is looking to acts of Congress to facilitate the Bear Ranch land exchange — ostensibly to preserve the privacy of the development he is creating there.
Collectively, those of us who stand to be potentially impacted by the development through Leroux Creek, do not have pockets deep enough to enlist similar sorts of actions to protect our own interests and quality of life. We have to rely on Mr. Koch's sensibilities and sensitivities to do the right thing.
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