Well, this is old news from Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (from May 2009), but it enables me to weigh in on the debate over jobs created by the American Restoration and Recovery Act. According to a May 2, 2009, press release on Bennet’s website, the ARRA will fund 100 BLM projects in Colorado (among 650 nationwide). The projects, worth $20 million, include everything from renewable energy to habitat restoration to capital improvements to BLM facilities to deal with increases in visitors or to make facilities more energy-efficient. I noted this sentence in particular:

“Nearly $3 Million for Habitat Restoration: A typical project will create jobs in the restoration of watersheds, provide clean and increased volumes of water for recreational and agricultural uses, and help stabilize wildlife populations”

I also noted this sentence:

“$1.1 Million for Remediation of Abandoned Mines: Funds will be used to clean up abandoned mines on BLM lands through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program. These projects are near public places and high-use areas such as trails, designated off-highway vehicle areas, picnic areas, schools, and subdivisions.”

That’s a drop in the huge bucket of what Colorado needs to deal with mines.

In an interesting coincidence, Colorado Art Ranch is sponsoring a collaborative process to help locals decide what to do about the Ute Ule Mine, an inactive silver mine in Lake City. I may just apply for that artist residency.

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