Protecting Colorado's Ranchers: A Position on Pinon Canyon: As most ranchers and livestock operators in Colorado know, there is a great deal of concern about the Army's plans to expand the boundaries of Fort Carson's training facilities at Pinon Canyon in southern Colorado. It is not enough to oppose the use of eminent domain (condemnation) at Pinon Canyon. In an already fragile economy, it is not fair to add more pressure to landowners in the area. That is why we support the state legislative ban on the lease or transfer of state lands for expansion, why we support the Congressional moratorium on expansion activities and why we are opposed to the additional loss of productive land in agriculture and livestock production that would follow from Army expansion. It is important for the communities most impacted by the Army's planned expansion in Southern Colorado to have the ultimate say in whether they would agree to any expansion proposal. It has been clear to us that so far, communities in Southern Colorado are adamantly opposed to the loss of this land (even through leasing) and we believe Colorado's next Governor must stand with them.
We hope to see everyone at the comment meetings but there are also other ways to comment:
Comments by the public, government agencies, other appropriate
entities, and stakeholders may be submitted at the above-mentioned public
meetings or sent to the U.S. Army Environmental Command (USAEC) during the
applicable published comment period. Comments can be sent by e-mail to USARMY.JBSA.AEC.MBX@mail.mil or
mailed to: Public Comments USAEC, Attn: IMPA — AE (Kropp), 2450 Connell Road
(Building 2264), Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234-7664. For questions regarding
comment submittals, call (210) 466-1590.
GAO study slams Army on Pinon Canyon expansion - Rocky Mt. News Article
The Rocky Mountain News Published January 13, 2009 at 12:09 p.m. Updated January 13, 2009 at 12:09 p.m.
WASHINGTON - A new Government Accountability Office study criticizes the U.S. Army's approach to the proposed expansion of the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in Colorado, saying a lack of early communication with nearby residents allowed rumors to run rampant.
The report, one of two being released today in response to congressional requests, also says the army's land acquisition approach is based on out-of-date strategic plans, and recommends periodic updates as well as new methods of keeping members of the public informed.
The Pentagon has faced vocal opposition from some residents of the area south of Fort Carson when word first spread that the army might be trying to add up to 418,577 acres of land to the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.
Last summer, the army reported that it planned to limit the proposed expansion to 100,000 acres, but not before public outrage echoed by congressional opposition.
Congress asked the nonpartisan GAO to study what happened.
"Without adequate explanations, key stakeholders at times relied on rumors and leaked documents," one report concludes. "These information sources often did not provide a clear, complete or accurate explanation of the Army's need for and approach to acquiring additional land or of the Army's plans to also use other strategies to meet critical training needs."
In a written response, army officials called their approach to land acquisitions, including the one proposed for Piñon Canyon, were "fundamentally sound," but conceded that they would benefit from updating strategic plans and communicating more effectively.
Not sure what this is about? One of the articles that describes the issue best can be found here:
We ask everyone to join us and to push our leaders and legislators to rein in the DOD and hold them accountable. Let's stop these wasteful and destructive efforts to seize a huge portion of land in Colorado larger than the State of Connecticut. Click I CAN HELP to get started.