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Colo. Parks Division Sued Over Christo's 'Over The River' Project

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FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2008 file photograph, drawings of the "Over the River" project are pictured in the background as Christo and Jeanne-Claude arrive for a news conference at a gallery displaying their work in Denver. The Bureau of Land Management released its draft environmental study on Friday, July 16, 2010 saying the Christo's "Over the River" project could have moderate to significant impact on bighorn sheep and historical sites. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File) | AP File Photo

DENVER -- Opponents of the artist Christo's plan to suspend huge fabric panels over stretches of the Arkansas River are suing the Colorado parks division for allowing him to carry out the project, if federal land managers grant him a permit.

The citizens group Rags Over the Arkansas River and two fly-fishing businesses filed their lawsuit in Denver District Court. They say Christo's "industrial-scale" Over the River project could have significant adverse impacts on park values and, therefore, requires a state permit.

Parks officials in June approved a memorandum of agreement that says Christo's team would pay $550,000 in fees and expenses to carry out his project if the Bureau of Land Management grants a federal permit for it.

State parks officials declined to comment Wednesday.

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