Commissioners Deny Quarry

Nearly 50 people crowded the county commission chambers Monday to protest a quarry application. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Nearly 50 people crowded the county commission chambers Monday to protest a quarry application. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Sheridan County commissioners unanimously voted against a quarry request after hearing more than two hours of protests from county residents.

Commissioners rejected the request of the H&M Hilleby Trust on Tuesday morning. Trustees Hans E. and Martha I. Hilleby wanted a permit for a five-acre quarry that would have been sited off the Bird Farm Road near Big Horn.

Protesters packed the commissioners' board room, and more than 20 spoke against the proposed operation.

Protesters included Sheridan attorney Kim Cannon, who represented three property owners in the area, including the Flying H Ranch. He called the hearing an historical event, an acid test of county zoning laws, and said the area is a special place that should be protected.

Other speakers included Buffalo attorney Dennis Kirven, whose ranch is on Highway 87 at Bird Farm Road. He said there was no show of economic benefit to the county from the quarry. Others at the meeting cited concerns over water quality, traffic safety and adverse impact to the environment and wildlife in the area.

Commissioners in rejecting the quarry application said the county needs the gravel that quarries produce, but agreed with the protesters that the Bird Farm Road area was the wrong place for the operation.

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