Salazar Holds Meeting About Pinon Canyon Project

Pinon Canyon Expansion
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Expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site is on hold for at least another year as the military does more research.

But that isn't stopping U.S. Senator Ken Salazar from holding yet another meeting for more discussions.

The meeting was held in Pueblo on Saturday at C.S.U's Pueblo campus.

Senator Salazar has been working closely with farmers and ranchers in South East Colorado trying to make sure the Army does not take land they really don't need.

Annette Roberts owns more than 20,000 acres in Las Animas County. She says, "You feel like you've got this black cloud hanging over your head all the time."

For years ranchers and farmers have been wondering what's going to happen to their land.

Sen. Salazar says, "I hope at the end of the day the right thing is done here."

Military officials have already acquired more than 200,000 acres in their Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site project to use for training purposes. Now they want an additional 420,000 acres.

"It's a terrible way to live. It's so stressful, it tears families apart", said Roberts.

In early October, the U.S. Senate passed an act that would require the Army to prove they need more land. They have six months to do that.

Those who oppose the expansion are praying the military will not come back with good reason to expand their training site.

"If the recommendations are that no more land is needed, it's all over, no one needs to fight about this ever again. It's something that could be put to bed", said Salazar.