Why the Army Probably Won't Be Expanding in Colorado Anytime Soon

April 30 2009, 8:58 AM

In a 25-9 vote yesterday, the state Senate passed House Bill 1317, which would prevent the State Land Board from selling or leasing land to the feds if the land is going to be used to expand the roughly 235,000-acre Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeast Colorado by 100,000 acres, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. It's now up to Governor Bill Ritter to sign the bill and effectively stymie the Army's plans to expand Fort Carson's training grounds. Lawmakers from Colorado Springs, who say Fort Carson needs more training space and fear the Army post could be closed without it, tried in vain to kill the bill--the second such bill in two years. In 2007, lawmakers approved a bill to remove the state's support for any federal effort to use condemnation law to take land in the region for the Army training. In a recent article, the Chieftain noted that Keith Eastin, the Army official who tried to get the expansion approved, has failed and is now retiring. What's so special about the land? Numerous things, according to this Forest Magazine article written in 2007, when the Army wanted to expand the site by a whopping 418,000 acres.

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