- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SALIDA, COLO. (AP) - An artist known for his large-scale projects says his proposal to put silvery, luminous fabric panels over the Arkansas River won’t hurt bighorn sheep.

The panels in Christo’s project would span eight sections along a 40-mile stretch of the river between Salida (suh-LY’-duh) and Canon City and require drilling anchors. The project is expected to take two years.

Colorado wildlife commissioners voted to send a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management expressing concerns over how the project would affect the sheep, according to the Pueblo Chieftain.

Christo says protecting wildlife and the environment is important and he will address the concerns that were raised.

His ideas have hit resistance before.

“The Gates” in New York’s Central Park was rejected by three city administrations before Christo’s friend Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor. The 7,503 fabric panels of “The Gates” were installed in 2005 under Bloomberg’s tenure.

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