Ranchers Fighting Army Over Land

This piece from <em>Reason</em> looks at a land dispute in Colorado between ranchers and the U.S. Army, which wants to add more than 400,000 acres to a 245,000 acre training and testing site.
February 27, 2009, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"The Army already occupies 245,000 acres of Colorado's desolate Piñon Canyon, which it uses for large-scale, force-on-force mechanized brigade combat exercises involving tanks and armored units. But since 2006 Uncle Sam has had his eye on at least 418,000 acres more, to handle increased demand for maneuvers and the expansion of Fort Carson."

"Most of that land is private property in the Comanche National Grasslands lying between the rustic ranching towns of La Junta, Trinidad, and Walsenburg. The proposed annexation, which would create a contiguous Army-owned area 85 percent the size of Rhode Island, has attracted loud opposition from local landowners, environmentalists, scientists, and politicians. Their combined efforts were enough to gain a congressionally ordered reprieve in 2007, but the Army appears determined to wear them down. In fact, the training ground expansion may be just the first phase of an enormous land grab potentially involving millions of acres."

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Published on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 in Reason
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