gardner-bobFort Carson isn’t going to grow as fast as its cheerleaders had hoped. The Pentagon announced yesterday that the Army post just south of Colorado Springs won’t get a 5th Brigade Combat Team, as expected, due to the Army scaling back its defense spending, writes The Associated Press. State Representative Bob Gardner (pictured), a Colorado Springs Republican, is disappointed by the news, saying the decision represents a “significant loss to the economic health of the community.” But Fort Carson is still growing: In the coming year it will host about 20,000 soldiers, as the headquarters of the 4th Infantry Division moves from a post in Texas, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The proposed 5th BCT would have pushed the post’s population to 30,000 by 2011. The announcement came just hours after Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill barring Colorado’s State Land Board from leasing its land to the Army for use at Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeast Colorado, notes The Pueblo Chieftain. Ranchers in the region responded to criticism that the bill is anti-military: “We are very supportive of our military and always have been,” Lon Robertson, president of the Piñon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition tells NewsChannel 13 in Colorado Springs.