Becky Heavner, MLA Blog

Project for the Arkansas River

According to the BLM website, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for is now scheduled to be released sometime in mid to late April. This is a major milestone in the permitting process that will help to determine how the project moves forward.

The BLM is considering various alternatives for Over The River. In the Final EIS, the BLM will recommend a “Preferred Alternative” for the project (the alternative that the BLM recommends for realization).

The artists have proposed 5.9 miles of fabric panels located in 8 different locations along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River. The BLM’s different alternatives could call for changing a variety of factors, such as the length of the project, the timing and length of the exhibition period and the duration of construction.

These alternatives are all compared against a “No Action” alternative — the baseline alternative that describes what would happen if the project is not completed. We will not know which alternative has been selected until the public release of the Final EIS.

Following the release of the Final EIS, the BLM will provide a public review period before issuing a Record of Decision. The Record of Decision is the final action in the BLM permitting process, and it is currently scheduled to be issued in early summer of this year. If all goes as planned, Over The River construction could begin as soon as spring of next year with the two-week exhibition taking place in summer 2014.