Pinon Canyon Expansion Targeted in Fed Report

January 14 2009, 9:51 AM

The Government Accountability Office says the U.S. Army's proposed expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeast Colorado was bungled from the start by none other than the U.S. Army. That's according to several news organizations, including the Rocky Mountain News, which reports that the Army's approach for acquiring roughly 100,000 acres of ranchland in the region was based on out-of-date strategic plans and that the Army essentially failed in the battle to provide the public with comprehensive information, fueling a cantankerous opposition. Last summer, the Army scaled back its initial goal of purchasing more than 418,000 acres in the region amid fierce opposition by local residents and state politicians. Army officials also failed to explain to Congress just how they'd use the site, according to the GAO, the Pueblo Chieftain writes. And investigators noted the Army has doubled its estimates for the cost of purchasing the land--to $52 million, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.