DENVER- It doesn’t happen very often, but it appears that the United States Army is backing down from a bunch of ranchers armed with metaphorical pitchforks.
The Army announced last week that it is diverting $17 million intended for the purchase of land around the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site and using it at Ft. Polk in Louisiana instead.
This does not mean however, that the war is over, just a battle. The army is still interested in expanding PCMS and, like the Terminator, will be back.
The Colorado legislature is trying to throw roadblocks in the army’s way, by passing HB1317, which prevents the sale or lease of state school land for expanding PCMS. This will remove 20,000 acres out of the 100,000 acres the army is eyeing. Governor Ritter has said he will sign the bill into law.
Opposition groups to the army’s plans are thrilled that plans for expansion are being dropped for this year, but are not letting their guard down.
Congressman John Salazar, who has been a leading protector of southern Colorado, stated, “This is one more obstacle up against the army.”