By Matt Kroschel

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Plans to excavate gravel along the banks of the Blue River near Silverthorne are facing stiff opposition from people who live nearby. An open house planned for Thursday evening from 4-7 p.m. at the Silverthorne Pavilion will be the first time residents and representatives from Peak Materials will be in the same room to discuss the proposed operations.

(credit: CBS)

Peak Materials purchased the property in October. It’s located 10 miles north of Silverthorne and a few miles away from another currently operational gravel extraction site along Highway 9. The site is located adjacent to several homes and ranch properties.

Blue River (credit: CBS)

According to the company, which is beginning the process to get a conditional use permit to begin work, the operation would add an estimated 115 dump truck loads of material a day.

(credit: CBS)

Well known wildlife photographer John Fielder is spearheading a citizens group to advocate against the proposal. He founded Lower Blue Residents United and is raising funds to mount a campaign to stop the gravel pit.

CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interviews John Fielder (credit: CBS)

“This is of great concern to many of us who love living here and are worried about impacts to the clean water, air and wildlife habitat,” Fielder told CBS4 on Thursday. “I don’t want lower Blue River water or the wetlands on the river affected, so yeah, there’s a lot of us that came here for solitude gravel mining would end that.”

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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