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Colorado approves 2 leases for Christo project

- Associated Press - Friday, October 7, 2011

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado State Land Board has approved two leases for the artist Christo's proposed Over the River project, which would temporarily suspend huge fabric panels over the Arkansas River.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is expected to decide this fall on a permit for Christo's proposal. But its preferred alternative, released this summer, sticks closely to the proposal by Christo and his late wife to suspend 5.9 miles worth of fabric over parts of the river.

The State Land Board said Friday it approved a five-year, 7.7-acre lease to Christo's team so the project could be built, shown and removed. It approved a 10-year, 130-acre lease with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to create a corridor and habitat for affected bighorn sheep.

The leases will generate roughly $26,000 for schools.

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