Army Only Wants 100,000 More Acres At Pinon Canyon

By: KKTV/Associated Press
By: KKTV/Associated Press

The Army calls it a compromise. Some residents believe it's a step closer to losing their land. Military officials scaled back a requested expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver site from more than 400,000 acres to 100,000 acres.

If Stanley White's voice isn't loud enough, the signs he placed along I-25 do the talking for him.

"It's still not right. There's a right and a wrong here," White said.

The signs are tractor-trailer cargo bins painted end to end with letters three feet high. The message: Southeastern Colorado is not for sale to the Army.

"We really believe we can't allow this phase to happen," he said.

In a statement from Army officials, Assistant Secretary for Installations and Environment Keith Eastin said an upcoming report to congress aims to address resident's concerns and find common ground.

White is one of hundreds of landowners who fear the army will force them to sell their property to expand Pinon Canyon.

Following a congressionally ordered yearlong review, the Army's latest offer is to buy less land than it wanted, and only from willing sellers.

White believes more purchases would follow.

"It'd be similar to taking one of your children this year, and one of them next year. It would hurt just as bad," he said.

State lawmakers are trying to extend legislation to prevent expansion by another year.

The Army report outlining the need for expansion of Pinon Canyon will go to congress Friday.

Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar wants to extend the ban on spending money on the expansion for another year during a Senate hearing planned for Thursday. Republican Sen. Wayne Allard just wants to stop the Army from taking land from unwilling sellers.

To read the complete statements from the Army and from Senator Ken Salazar, click on the links above.

To read more about the controversy surrounding the expansion of Pinon Canyon, click on the stories below.

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  • by Elaine Location: Denver on Aug 7, 2008 at 03:05 PM
    To Angie in Colorado Springs - Before posting comments you should become familiar with the subject that you are speaking about! Yes, friends AND family were raped and pillaged by the army's land grab in the 80's to form Pinon Canyon Base. As far as buying them out, the army offered pennies on the dollar for ranches that had been owned by families for generations, and could not be replaced with the amount the army paid them. And there HAS been a poll taken and there are NO WILLING SELLERS!! I have friends that are currently serving in Iraq, I am very supportive of our troops, but I don't believe in taking land and livelihoods away from American citizens when there are other alternatives. Many of the impacted landowners have actually served in the military, or have family members that are currently serving. The people of southern Colorado are some of the most patriotic citizens in existence, but that doesn't mean that they need to be taken advantage of by our own government.
  • by Military Wife Location: COS on Jul 22, 2008 at 12:10 PM
    I am a military wife whose husband spent 21 years in the service. I understand the people not wanting to sell thier homes. And I understand the military needing more land. But complaining about it isnt doing anyone any good. Now I don't agree with the governments way, in fact I have grown to hate the government, but I am not thinking of them, I am thinking of my husband and his fellow soldiers that risk their lives and work 365 days a year for my freedom to write this message. I just wish people would understand it is higher up then the men and women over seas, and that the people SPITTING on our soliders when they go down to Pinon needs to stop. It is not thier fault. If you don't want them to take your land, start petitions, make signs do what you have to do but leave our soldiers out of it, otherwise you join and walk a mile in their shoes.
  • by Native Location: C/S on Jul 22, 2008 at 08:46 AM
    L-get a clue. Who do you think supports the military! Uncle Sam if the military left we would go back to being a nice place to raise our children. The biggest to suffer a loss would be the used car dealers!
  • by Angie Location: C/S on Jul 22, 2008 at 07:40 AM
    To: Elaine Location: Denver, CO, Did you happen to read the story "Military Helping Pikes Peak Region's Economy" And the land isn't just being taken, they are buying them out. Did you happen to take a poll there to find out that there are no willing sellers? "The people of southern Colorado have already been raped and pillaged by their own Army in the 80's." were you one of them?
  • by ~L~ Location: cos on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:57 PM
    I agree with Me..You all are greedy and clueless to what it takes to train the soldiers..get off your couch's and join..then see that yes. a little land DOES help. and for the fires? last I knew the MILIARTY has helped with ALL US disasters..even to the un grateful's.the miliatry doesnt choose who to help.they just do. How much money have ANY of you given to Help? seems yet again the Military is paying big money to the economy as well.
  • by Uncle Sam Location: C/S on Jul 21, 2008 at 07:49 PM
    Here's a thought. Close down Ft. Carson, Schriever, Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson then watch this place deteriorate.
  • by Robert Location: PPCC on Jul 21, 2008 at 02:39 PM
    I don't think 100,000 acres of land is going to give our soldiers the body armor, the armor plates for humvees, and the technology they need. Last time I checked, firing off a cannon into the middle of no where is not the proper training for urban combat. I am all fore for giving whatever our soliders need, but what they need is not 100,000 acres of grassland. They need to build a proper facilty for urban combat training.
  • by me Location: c/s on Jul 20, 2008 at 01:34 PM
    ...okay, everyone is complaining. but we wonder why our soldiers r dying from not being trained completely, because people keep COMPLAINING about the little bit of sacrifice we must give. OUR SOLDIERS SACRIFICE THEIR LIVES and we can't sacrifice just a little bit of land for THEIR BENEFIT! Quit complaining people!!!
  • by MaryEllen Location: Las Animas County on Jul 17, 2008 at 10:30 PM
    Sorry, but they go straight down I-25 to the site, tear up the land, start fires and they DO NOT spend a dime!! The reason for the fighting is they are wanting to take our home, our livelihood, our family heritage, and our way of life and our future.
  • by Elaine Location: Denver, CO on Jul 17, 2008 at 09:56 PM
    When Pinon Canyon was formed in the 80's from land seized through emminent domain the Army solemnly promised the American citizens in southern Colorado that no more land would be taken from them for that site. They also promised that the economy in southern Colorado would benefit from the Army's presence there. Both promises have been broken completely. The Army is now back for more land. They say there are willing sellers, but no one steps forward to prove that. The people of southern Colorado are being attacked by the very Army that was formed to protect them. Experts have spoken out that today's types of warfare do NOT require large parcels of land to train on. The people of southern Colorado have already been raped and pillaged by their own Army in the 80's. Are we going to stand by and watch it happen again? Get your facts straight before you speak, AMAZED! No proof of need has been given for expansion, and the Army has proven themselves to be liars time and time again.
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