Monday, April 04, 2011

Editorial: Ever vigilant

...So, while the Army secretary says expansion is no longer a goal of the service, that very well could change with new circumstances. Right now the Army intends to spend $750 million at Fort Carson to house a new aviation brigade, and with the federal budget being as it is, there probably is no more money for Fort Carson’s ambitions. But the fact is, the Army always wants more land, no matter where it has a post. While the current leadership at the Mountain Post and in the Pentagon may not have immediate plans for Pinon Canyon expansion, that doesn’t mean new commanders — military and civilian — won’t have different designs. It was just in 2006 that the Army announced its goal of expanding Pinon Canyon to include a huge swath across Southeastern Colorado. But the Army never was able to make a persuasive case why it needed more land there, being that the training range has been used sparingly. Meanwhile, Southeastern Colorado has a sorry history of promises broken by past Fort Carson brass, defying court orders and even ignoring a funding ban by Congress for PCMS expansion. Rather, with great fanfare the Army promised it was going to do a great deal of business with merchants in Pueblo, La Junta and Trinidad. That never happened. So it’s no wonder that the people of Southeastern Colorado remain skeptical, no matter what the Army says. It will be incumbent on all who support the vital ranching industry around Pinon Canyon to be ever vigilant to the Army’s future intentions. We support the military, but those in charge today will be gone tomorrow, unlike the three- and four-generation ranching families in Southeastern Colorado...more

The Pueblo Chieftain gets it. Now if only the Colorado Congressional Delegation would.

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