Scott McInnis Supports Army Expansion on Colorado Ranchland

May 2009

Former Congressman Scott McInnis, a possible Republican candidate for governor next year, has joined a very small and exclusive group of lawmakers trying to help the Army expand Fort Carson's Piñon Canyon training grounds in southeast Colorado. In a letter to Governor Bill Ritter, McInnis demands a veto of legislation that would prevent the Army from buying about 20 percent of the 100,000 acres it wants to add to its 238,000-acre maneuver site (via The Pueblo Chieftain). Many ranchers in the region oppose the Army's plans, but McInnis claims "real progress was being made" toward a compromise, triggering a flurry of negative comments from lawmakers, including state Representative Sal Pace, a Pueblo Democrat and sponsor of the legislation, who says McInnis "just made a colossal mistake." Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, a Republican from Fruita who is also expected to run for governor, chided McInnis, according to The Associated Press. Army Secretary Pete Geren was at Fort Carson Tuesday and told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he doesn't view the state's opposition to selling the Army land as a "show-stopper." "I'm hopeful we can persuade the Congress that this is a good thing to do for Colorado, good for the U.S. Army and most importantly, good for the national defense," Geren told 11News.