Department of the Interior Weighs in on Environmental Effects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Latest Project

At once an interesting look at the bureaucratic hoops the artists and “great negotiatorsChristo and Jeanne-Claude (who died late last year) have to jump through to get their massive projects off the ground, while simultaneously something altogether new. The U.S. Department of the Interior‘s Bureau of Land Management has released an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the couple’s most recent endeavor, “Over the River,” which seeks to put “5.9 miles of fabric panels suspended above the Arkansas River in eight select areas along a stretch of river between the towns of Salida and Canon City, Colorado.” The EIS is the first of its kind, both for the artists and possibly for the Department of the Interior as well. On the government’s site, you can browse the dozens and dozens of documents and maps (just be prepared to download a ton of PDFs), all trying to capture how installing “Over the River” would environmentally affect the area (they also provide some suggested alternatives, but the artists have never had much of a history backing down). And contrary to what you might think, the NY Times reports that Christo is thrilled that the EIS effort has been made, that it’s not only beneficial to have the information, but that dealing with bureaucracy is the whole point of he and his wife’s work.