Photos: Scenes From Craig, A Coal Town At Center Of Court Fight

July 1, 2015

Coal is king in Craig, Colorado, a small town about 40 miles west of Steamboat Springs and 200 miles northwest of Denver. Residents say the environmental group WildEarth Guardians unfairly targeted Colowyo, a coal mine near town, in a recent lawsuit they fear could shut down the mine. 

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Here are scenes from a recent trip to Craig: 

Photo: Craig coal 1 | Farm outside of town
A farm outside of Craig, Colo. in the northwestern part of the state on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The Craig Station coal-fired power plant is visible in the background. 
Photo: Craig coal 2 | Downtown Craig
Downtown Craig, Colorado early on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. 
Photo: Craig coal 9 | Basketball in town
James Vaughan, right, blocks a shot from Cory Carson, center, as Caleb Herndon, left, watches at City Park in Craig, Colo. on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Photo: Craig coal 3 | Coal train at intersection
A coal train moves through the edge of Craig, Colo. on its way to the Craig Station coal-fired power plant on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Photo: Craig coal 7 | Craig Station power plant zoomed in 3
A coal train enters the Craig Station power plant near Craig, Colo. on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Photo: Craig coal 5 | Transmission lines
Electrical transmissions lines carry power from the Craig Station coal-fired power plant near Craig, Colo. on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Photo: Craig coal 8 | Ranch outside of town
Craig, Colo. in northwestern Colorado is nestled underneath Cedar Mountain. 
Photo: Craig coal 23 | Flower shop owner Shirley Balleck 2
Shirley Balleck owns The Flower Mine Gift Shop in Craig, Colo. and is the main distributor of pro-coal signs that are seen throughout the city. 
Photo: Craig coal 15 | Liquor store owner
Clyde Hettinger, owner of Dark Horse Discount Liquor in Craig, Colo., talks with store manager Becky Peed on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Hettinger pulled all New Belgium Brewing beer off his shelves in protest of donations the brewery made to WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group.

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Photo: Craig coal 18 | Colowyo Mine reclaimed land
Reclaimed land at the Colowyo Mine about 30 miles south of Craig, Colo. on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
Photo: Craig coal 19 | Colowyo Coal active pit close
The Colowyo Mine about 30 miles south of Craig, Colo. on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. 
Photo: Craig coal 20 | Active pit wide
The active coal mining pit at Colowyo Mine is about 500 feet deep. 
Photo: Craig coal 21 | Walgreen's coal sign
Many businesses around Craig, including corporate entities like Walgreens, are vocal about their support for the local coal industry.