SOSVV February 2018 Newsletter

SOSVV is honored to be among the recipients of the 2017 Patagonia Environmental Retail Grant, selected by the staff at Patagonia Boulder on Pearl Street. I knew Patagonia was cool when I read Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. I knew Patagonia was the real deal when I serendipitously met Yvon Chonard, it’s founder, and shared a burrito at Dos Gringos Burrito in Carbondale in 2007. But my expectations where surpassed when I got to know the local staff in Boulder in the process of applying for their Retail Environmental Grant for SOSVV with Lily Trienens. A grant designed to help grass-roots, non-profits with community-driven initiatives to protect their local environment. This grant has the added benefit of familiarizing each of their employees with local environmental issues and of empowering them to contribute positively and tangibly in their community.

After hearing about our mission, Martin Marietta Material’s proposed mining project & defacto rezoning of 600+ acres in the St Vrain Valley of agricultural land causing repirian habitat loss, wildlife threats, environmental impacts (including noise pollution, air pollution, aquifer impacts), and potentially devastating health impacts, traffic hazards, etc.,
Emily Weldin, Patagonia Environmental Coordinator, invited me to speak at their store. Staff closed the store early to Holiday shoppers– just days before Black Friday at the peak of the Holidaze when most retailers are expecting that employees work late–
in lieu of a discussion on local environmental issues in Boulder County.

That’s what congruence at work looks like. These funds and your continued, generous support is what has and will continue to enable SOSVV to protect the St Vrain Valley from invasive industrial threats. 

Patagonia Down Sweater, modeled by Lily Trienens (her very own Christmas gift) with Emily Weldin, Patagonia and Amanda Dumenigo SOSVV
SOSVV LOVE Online Auction

We are ALSO so grateful to Patagonia Pearl Street Boulder staff for their generous gear donation: Down Sweaters, perfect for Spring & to benefit Save Our St Vrain Valley. Just in time for Valentine’s Day! These His‘ & Her’s Patagonia Down Sweaters are the perfect gift for the one you love! Check out our online silent auction SOSVV LOVE or on Facebook. Please don’t forget to Bid &/or Share Share Share the LOVE. These will make you & your love feel warm & fuzzy, look amazing, and help protect the St Vrain Valley.

Bid at Charity Auctions NOW– auction ends at midnight on February 13th.  You may try on these  Patagonia Down Sweaters at The Mountain Fountain– winner will be notified by SOSVV and may pick up items on Valentine’s Day at The Mountain Fountain. Be sure to try their heart-shaped, scrumptious raspberry Linzer cookies. 

On less ecstatic news, we were told last Fall that Land Use had hired a third-party consultant to evaluate the particulars of SU 96-18 and make recommendations. We learned from our latest review of internal correspondence dated January 16th, 2018 that the Land Use Dept / the County appears to have had a “hiCcUp” with their third party consultant, but should have a decision within a week. That deadline came and went– but we certainly appreciate the Director and the County doing their due diligence and affirming that Martin Marietta’s permit has lapsed due to the five year of inactivity lapse provision.

We also learned from internal correspondence between the Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety and Julie Mikulas, Land Manager, Martin Marietta Materials dated February 2nd, 2018 that Martin Marietta is in violations of the pond bank erosion repairs and the slope gradient, and has failed to demonstrate that the current flood protection plan is adequate to protect the site from stream capture and associated flood damage.

Ms. Mikulas’ response for Martin Marietta was to request a nine month extension to comply with the State’s corrective actions, extending deadline to June 25th, 2018. In justification for their extension request, Mikulas identifies “…dealing with some issues with Boulder County [and that] The neighbors have questioned the validity of our Special Use Permit with Boulder County. The Boulder County Land Use Director [Dale Case] requested that we submit documentation showing that our permit has not experienced a five year lapse of inactivity. We submitted our documentation to the Director mid July 2017.”

Worth noting: it took MMM FIVE months to meet the Director’s obvious request to submit proof of continuous mining activity– and MMM’s activity log constitutes of a self-serving list of compliance with administrative procedures, paying fees, weed remediation, prairie dog control. MMM included no receipts or substantiating evidence supporting these non-MINING activities and requirements. SOSVV’s claims that MMM has not mined under any portion of SU 96-18 is confirmed by the partial landowner, Director of BCPOS, Eric Lane, in his June 2017 letter to US Fish & Wildlife requesting a new Biological Study reflecting current conditions and new information be considered.

Ms Mikulas concludes by asking the State’s Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety for a nine month extension to comply with corrective actions currently mandated by the State:

–”[Martin Marietta] would prefer to not re-work the banks now and then have to go back in and rework again once the reclamation configuration is determined.”–

It seems that Ms. Mikulas / Martin Marietta Materials do NOT care about the dangerous position that their existing violations and unwillingness to adhere to the recommendations made or to the deadline set by the State’s Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety compromises the citizens and properties in the St Vrain Valley. Ms Mikulas overlooks the fact that floods are not scheduled events, that can be postponed at industry’s convenience or that will be contained by negligible restoration work– as evidence in the 2013 Flood.

Ms Mikulas doesn’t realize that we are not “the neighbors”– we are SOSVV– a community of concerned, informed citizens throughout Boulder County and the Front Range, comprised of hydrologic engineers, farmers, ranchers, geologists, recreationists, attorneys, writers, researchers, businessmen, parents, Native American leaders, and activists.

SOSVV proclaims the right of self-governance in matters that directly affect the people and the environment in which we live. We assert our community’s right to clean air and pure water from the St Vrain River; the rights of ecosystems to thrive; the right to peaceful enjoyment of this unique place by residents, recreationlists, and visitors; we assert the importance of conserving the archeology, wildlife, Prime Farmland, and wholeness of the St Vrain Valley– the least developed mountain river valley leading from the Front Range onto the Great Plains.

SOSVV will be submitting an official letter to the State’s Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety in response to Ms Mikulas’ February 2nd letter and to MMM’s extension request from the State.

Please make your voice heard. We’re louder together. Write your letter noting your objections to Dale Case while Land Use are evaluating issues. Display your lawn signs. Follow us on Facebook for latest news. And please Donate to support SOSVV. You can make you tax-deductible donations on our website or on Facebook page.

If you have images from the 2013 Floods / post-flood, please enter our photo contest, submit your images as a response to this email, via Facebook or SOSVV website.


Amanda Dumenigo
Chairperson, SOSVV


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