Pinon Canyon

By: AP
By: AP

Commanders at Fort Carson say they want to talk to the public about the Army's proposed expansion of its training site in southeastern Colorado.

But they're waiting -- like everyone else -- for the Pentagon to decide whether to expand the Pinon Canyon training site southwest of La Junta.

The Army wants to expand the training area from a quarter million acres to as many as a million acres.

Army officials say they need more space because Fort Carson -- south of Colorado Springs -- will be getting an additional ten-thousand soldiers.

But area landowners and communities oppose the expansion.

Ranchers and others fear they'll lose their land and cities and counties worry about the loss of property tax revenue.

Fort Carson commanders say the Army wants to talk to landowners about several options -- short of buying the land.

They say the public doesn't have a realistic view of the Army's needs because so many troops are in Iraq.

They say the Army meets the troops' needs once they return.

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