State Lawmakers Take on Army's Expansion Plans in Southeast Colorado

April 9 2009, 9:29 AM

The Army's controversial move to acquire an additional 100,000 acres of land in southeastern Colorado has made its way from Washington, D.C., to the Colorado Legislature. Yesterday, the state House of Representatives voted to prevent the State Land Board from selling or leasing land to the federal government if it means that Fort Carson's Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site would grow. The legislation is meant to prevent the Army from expanding the 238,000-acre site, a move opposed by ranchers in southeastern Colorado who say their lands are under siege, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. Roughly 20 percent of the land that the Army has designated for future expansion is State Land Board land, placing a major crimp in any plans to expand, according to News 13 in Colorado Springs.  Meanwhile, back in D.C. last week, U.S. Representatives John Salazar and Betsy Markey, whose districts include pieces of the proposed site, called on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to ask the Army for an updated briefing on its plans by no later than April 10, according to another Chieftain article.