On October 15, 2018, Lower Blue valley resident, Julie Hillyard, sold her 80-acre ranch to Peak Materials (formerly LG Everest), operators of the Maryland Creek gravel/aggregate mine north of Silverthorne. The property lies 10 miles north of Silverthorne in between Highway 9 and the Blue River near its confluence with Slate Creek, and just south of the Ute Pass Road. Click here for context map. Peak Materials is a subsidiary of Kilgore Companies, which in turn is a subsidiary of Summit Materials, a national company based in Denver that specializes in mining aggregates and making concrete.

Peak Materials has determined that only limited inventory of aggregate remains at the Maryland Creek site necessitating the company to seek new gravel mining locations. Peak plans to mine aggregate at the Hillyard site and truck it to Maryland Creek for processing. This proposal would fundamentally change the character of the Lower Blue River valley and would require up to 230 truck trips per day (full load south, empty load north).

Summit County Planning Department requires that a Conditional Use Permit be acquired for such operations. The application would be evaluated based upon the Summit County Land Use and Development Code. The Lower Blue Planning Commission is responsible for conducting the review, which would happen 90 days from application. The Hillyard property permit would be a new one, but Peak Materials would also need approval of an updated Maryland Creek permit since that permit does not allow material to be imported from other locations. If LBPC does not recommend approval of the permits, Peak Materials can appeal the decision to Summit County Board of Commissioners.

Peak Materials ultimately must gain approval from Summit County, as well as Colorado Mine Land Reclamation Board. CMLRB is a multi-interest citizen board which establishes the regulations, standards and policies that guide the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. The Board was created in 1976 by the Colorado General Assembly. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the legislature, serving terms of 4 years.

Looking east over the Lower Blue River Valley. Shaded area is the 80-acre property. Photo by John Fielder, October, 2019

As of October, 2019 Peak Materials has not yet applied for permits.