SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper got a close look at the proposed location of a controversial art project on the Arkansas River.

On Saturday the governor hopped in a raft for a whitewater trip through the area where Christo wants to build his “Over The River” project. The artist would drape canvas over several stretches of the Arkansas near Salida.

The governor supports the project, saying it will help boost tourism. Critics say it would be devastating to the environment and wildlife in the area.

An image showing how Over The River would look. (credit: CBS)

Christo still needs final approval from Chafee County.

The governor also took the trip to show people that despite the low snowpack, there is still plenty of great rafting in the high country.