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August 29, 2007 12:52 AM UTC

Allard Offers Odd Sentiment on Pinon Canyon

  • by: Colorado Pols

From the new blog State 38:

In the Pueblo Chieftain today, Senate Wayne “Dullard” Allard reiterated the fiction that Pinon Canyon ranchers might “voluntarily sell” their land to the Army, and that if they wish to do so they “shouldn’t be prevented.”

The idea that there are “willing sellers” in the area was apparently news to the people who live there —

“Lon Robertson, president of the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition, said it was bewildering how Allard could believe that eminent domain would not be used to expand Pinon Canyon when a majority of the landowners in the 414,000 targeted acres do not want to sell to the Army.

Robertson noted that Fort Carson officials have not made any commitments to landowners about not using eminent domain in numerous public meetings about Pinon Canyon.

“Apparently, the Army is willing to make commitments to Senator Allard in private that they are not making anywhere else,” Robertson said. “It is confusing that Senator Allard is willing to believe this when so many other facts are staring him in the face.”

When the Army released its latest map on June 7 showing the 414,000 acres it hopes to acquire, Allard’s staff said Army officials had assured them that most could be acquired from willing sellers, particularly in the 110,000-acre parcel directly south of Pinon Canyon. The opposition responded by organizing a media tour of those lands where nearly every landowner told reporters and congressional staff their land is not for sale to the Army…”


18 thoughts on “Allard Offers Odd Sentiment on Pinon Canyon

  1. At his little Roan Plateau presser w/ Penry, it was clear that Allard had no idea what he was talking about.  He refused to even acknowledge that there are impacts from energy development, saying that additional revenue was needed in affected communities to pay for all the ‘economic development’ that was happening.  Hey Sen. it’s not the economic development that has folks riled up, its leaking waste pits, degraded roads, increases in crime, domestic violence, and wildlife crimes (feeding bears, poaching).  It’s large industrial vehicles driving well above the speed limit on small two-lane ‘farm to market roads.’ Its the loss of wildlife habitat, recreational lands, open space and the beauty of the West.  Its no shocker that he has little idea of what is really happening at Pinion Canyon.  He might have been a decent cow doctor, but he’s a lousy senator.

  2. I don’t have any actual knowledge about the proposed expansion at PCMS, thus the alert,
    but I have the impression that the Army doesn’t need a huge contiguous spread of ranchland,
    they just need a large number (maybe 50 – 100) smaller pieces (maybe 50 to 500 acres) scattered over that 110,000 acres, plus the rights to drive and fly between them. 

    Maybe the Army has already lined up willing sellers for those ~15,000 acres ??

    Maybe they are already negotiating for overflight rights ??

    1. Your right you have no knowledge about the proposed expansion, which could be remedied easily by visiting the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition website or visiting the area and see for yourself.

      At every public meeting, including the Scoping and EIS hearings on the current PCMS,it has been the military’s
      justification for not seeking alternative sites to Southeast Colorado because it must have “huge contiquous” spaces for the training of the new Transformation Army and the way future wars will be fought. In fact they actually want 2.5 million acres and this is just Phase 1 of a master plan.

      Believe me, there are no willing sellers to the Army. And,
      it would violate their own process to be lining anyone up and negotiating until they have appropriated money from Congress

      1. and I wouldn’t expect to find any more reliable facts at your website than I would expect to come from the Army. 

        Just my impression, but I’ve attended one meeting (Antlers Hotel, Colorado Springs) on the issue, and I encountered some pretty strident opponents of expansion.  At this meeting, they were going after Senator Salazar’s staff. 
        Now, the stridency is completely justified.  Their way of life is threatened. 
        But in my experience, zealots have a hard time themselves distinguishing between honest-to-goodness facts and what they want to be facts. 
        side note: I’ve dealt with zealots who killed to get what they wanted, and one of the expansion opponents struck me as having a similar aura.

        So, for starters, opponents ought to hire an attorney who does not have such a personal stake in the outcome, so the movement can be better represented.  Y’all are your own worst enemy. 

        I don’t have a position, one way or the other. yet.

        In the mid 1990’s, I was there when the Army’s Transformation was being developed.  I was an observer, not a contributor. 
        It did not start with Rumsfeld. 
        The so-called Revolution in Military Affairs recognized that there may not be any more major tank battles. 
        I attended one lecture at the USAFA where senior officers were seriously talking about whether to strike civilian targets with no obvious military value, since one objective of war was to break the will of the enemy’s population. 
        Centers of Influence, that approach was called.

        Look at how our soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Can you identify even one location, in either theater, by UTM grid coordinates, where the Army is holding over 15,000 acres contiguous ? 

        I really think the Army has no intention of grabbing as much territory as you think.  I think you are being intentionally misled by Army lawyers. 
        And you disagree.

        Then, at some critical juncture, I think they plan to publicly downscope their goal and label it a compromise, a concession. 
        You may be caught off-guard if you are not prepared for that possibility. 

      2. I believe you if you are saying you don’t know of any willing sellers.

        But, harking back to my youth, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men ? 

        And I misspoke; the Army would not be involved directly in lining up sellers.
        But I believe someone with inside knowledge, a “contractor,” has a pretty good idea of the Army’s aims, and would be the one doing this, perhaps appearing to the locals as a carpetbagger land speculator. 
        Seen any of those lately ?

  3. I certainly side with the ranchers here, the Army has use of other less environmentaly areas to train. What bothers me most is that the very folks in opposition to the Army, Bush administration and the military industrial complex this would support are the same folks who voted Republican and supported the war in Iraq until they realized the direct impact on their lives. Wake up Pinion Canyon families! Continuing to support the Bush Administration has got you where you are.

        1. Until then, I won’t, and I will continue to think you need to find a complaint of substance.

          It is NOT incorrect spelling.  And anyone reading Pinon knows EXACTLY what is meant. 

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