Checking in on Piñon Canyon

November 10 2009, 12:01 PM

The U.S. Army will appeal federal Judge Richard Matsch's September ruling that an environmental review failed to adequately address the effects of increasing training at Fort Carson's Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeast Colorado. That's according to The Associated Press, which notes military officials still want to expand the more than 235,000-acre site by roughly 100,000 acres despite years of resistance from local ranchers, businesses, and their political allies. Opponents of expansion say the plan would hurt the region's economy and historic culture. "It's across the board, a dead done deal, and now we see an 11th hour appeal? We're going to believe that common sense will prevail one more time," says Jean Aguerre, president of a group that opposes expansion. Add former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, a Republican now running for U.S. Senate, to the list of opponents to a public taking of the land---or eminent domain. That's an option the Army has not removed from its expansion agenda, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. Norton says she would support expansion if ranchers willingly sold their properties to the Army.