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Ryan Holmlund, a blast helper on an explosives crew at Trapper Mining Co., prepares to trip explosives May 14. Three area coal mines — Trapper, Colowyo and Twentymile — produced about 47 percent of Colorado’s coal last year.

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‘The life blood’

Relationship between Moffat County and the coal industry runs deep

Retired coal miner and Craig resident Don Laib spent 29 years working for Trapper Mining Co. in Craig. He takes pride in that fact. “I look up at the mine and I realize where I used to work,” he said. “It’s 20 below zero and it’s snowing and it’s cold. I see that, and I think about the guys that are up there working. “I care about them. I care about their safety.”

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