Sunday, October 21, 2007

Colorado Under Attack by US Government

click on map to enlarge
Posted from Las Animas, Colorado

Since I decided back in April to move to Colorado, I began to take a look at what has been happening to the good State of Colorado. What I've found is alarmingly similar to recent BLM tactics in Wyoming. **[
Even though the school children here are under a moral attack, I will hold off on that for another post. Suffice it to say that the cultural relativists are having their way with the indoctrination of our children here, as is happening most everywhere in America. More on that soon.]

Today I want to point out how the government is grossly undermining state sovereignty, and denying individual property rights. I have already written two posts on the subject which all Colorado residents should read:

Sacrificing the Roan Plateau


Raping the Land

Today the focus is on the US Army's proposed expansion of the Piñon Canyon Project.

Rocky Mountain News

Littwin: Ranchers defend land, life against Army's maneuvers
"If you take out 400,000 acres, it would devastate the area," he says. "If they take the 418,000 acres . . . it might affect 30 to 40 people. That's the direct effect. But if they take that 418,000 acres out of production, La Junta disappears.

"Not tomorrow morning, but in four to five years. What you're doing is taking away a whole culture, a whole region, by just making a little change, by throwing a little curve there. The economy is that fragile. It's much like the land."

Piñon Canyon Expansion

The US Army wants a new playground - a huge new playground. The justification for the expansion of the Piñon Canyon Playground? They might need it at some future time, for big, future wars. Sound shaky? The ranchers and farmers who have been eking out a living on this unforgiving land for generations think so. Senator Salazar thinks so, too - and he has been trying to put the skids on this project. Especially in light of the fact that the present Army lands already seized by eminent domain in 1983 are sorely under-utilized: the 368 square miles has been used about once a year since the 1980's.

Lt. Colonel Rice, Army's pointman for the DOD's intended land grab, has convinced no one, except apparently Sen. Allard(R), that the expansion is necessary and justified. Under Sen Salazar, the project has been put on hold for one year. Sen. Allard has been
braying voicing his opinion that the time-out is un-necessary, that the Army has already provided ample justification for the expansion project, which would bring the Army's playground to a total of 1000 square miles. Apparently, only he and Lt. Col Rice are in agreement on that score.

They would both like to see everybody lie down on the tracks on this one, and just let the train run over everybody:

September 6th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) responded today to Senate passage of an amendment to prevent the Army from spending any funds on the proposed expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver site (PCMS) in Southeastern Colorado.

Says Sen. Allard:

“Senator Salazar and I agree that the Army needs to justify any possible expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver site in Southeastern Colorado,” said Allard. “Where we differed today is on how we should approach this issue. I believe this amendment will unnecessarily tie the hands of the Army and actually prevents the Army from collecting important information. The language is so restrictive that it will prohibit them from providing information, handouts to the public, holding community meetings to find common ground or conducting a needed Environmental Impact Statement. The closeness of today’s vote represents the concern many members of the Senate feel regarding the precedent set by this measure.”

“I will continue to work with my colleague Senator Salazar, and the other members of the Colorado delegation, to ensure that property rights are protected, the economic concerns of local communities are addressed and the public is fully apprised of the Army’s intentions regarding the proposed expansion of Pinon Canyon,” continued Allard.

“I also believe that upon receiving a report from the Army that adequately justifies their need for additional training space at Pinon Canyon, the Colorado delegation has an obligation to address the training space needs for the more than 10,000 new soldiers that will be coming to Fort Carson over the next couple of years,” concluded Allard.

In other words, for Sen Allard it is a foregone conclusion that the Army needs, and will get the land they say they need. Forget individual property rights. Forget the regional needs and way of life. And make no mistake, the DOD has already proven they will play hardball. They proved that in 1983, when farmers and ranchers were forced off their land, and without fair compensation.

The current landowners are still smarting over the Army's 1983 land grab which resulted in the formation of the Pinon Canyon Maneuvering Site (PCMS), associated with Fort Carson. of some 368 Square miles. In recent years, the US military has indicated that it is planning a major expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuvering Grounds: a total of perhaps as many as 2.5 million acres.

Report shows Pinon Canyon hosts about one big exercise each year

October 17, 2007

PUEBLO - Military reports show the Army has conducted large-scale training exercises at its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site an average of about once a year, prompting opponents to again question the need to nearly triple the size of the 368-square-mile site.

The documents show Pinon Canyon has been used for about 30 big exercises since 1985, the Pueblo Chieftain reported in its Wednesday editions.

The after-action reports, compiled after the exercises were over, were obtained by the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition through the Freedom of Information Act.

The Army wants to expand the site to about 1,000 square miles, citing an influx of 8,000 additional soldiers at Fort Carson by 2011.

Some nearby ranch owners fear the expansion would force them to sell property that has been in their families for generations. They say losing so much land from agricultural production will hurt the region's economy, and they argue the Army isn't making good use of the space it already has.

Lt. Col. Jim Rice, who has been overseeing expansion planning, said the site has been used by 200,000 soldiers since 1997, including many smaller exercises by company-size and smaller units.

The Army has also said it needs the additional space to train on modern weapons and tactics.

"When I was in Iraq as deputy commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, we were responsible for an area of about 30,000 square miles," Rice said.

The reports show the site has been used only once since 2003. Rice said that's because Fort Carson soldiers have been fighting in Iraq.

"Since 2001, we really haven't used Pinon Canyon because all of our units based at Fort Carson have been in the fight," he said. "All wars eventually will end and we aren't looking at expanding Pinon Canyon for this war, but for the future training needs of the Army."

Lon Robertson, a rancher from Kim who leads an opposition group, said the Army hasn't used the current site enough.

"So now we're supposed to give up our land because they say they will use it more often in the future? My answer is, our families need the land right now, absolutely, positively," he said.

Rice said the Army has no plans to duplicate the exercises done at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., because it would be too expensive.

The California site has a permanent garrison of troops who play the enemy during training, and commanders are able to watch individual soldiers during exercises using cameras set up on the large desert ranges.

Oh, it'll be different now, says Col Rice (yes, yes, brays Sen Allard) - bigger army, more wars to be fought. Go America!

Um huh. How 'bout this: Go capture a rocky, desert-like island somewhere (no, not Australia) - maybe, like off the coast of Africa. Hey, I can understand the US Army wanting new, powerful toys and wanting to blow up things. That's what armies do. Have a ball. Just don't run these poor, hapless Americans off their land to do it. Because it's not just these unfortunates who stand helplessly by while the government decides how it will carve up the American Pie.

We all lose.

What kind of nation have we become? I'll tell you what kind of nation we have become: one in which private land ownership is rapidly being overturned in favor of government ownership and control. One in which individual rights suck hind tit to a socialistic definition of state ownership and governance in every area of our lives. One in which the right to bear arms in defense of home and family is fervently despised by the Left. One in which parental rights are being ignored and thwarted in favor of child's rights - which the (Nanny) state will define and enforce.

Better wake up, Americans. This is happening on our watch, and it is a freight train that cannot be stopped by peaceful means. The US Government already has too much power, far too much power to a stopped by rational discourse.
“It is illogical for the DOD to expand a military training site in the landscape of southeastern Colorado when modern day warfare takes place in desert terrains, with emphasis on urban tactics. CICA does not believe the PCMS expansion plan is a prudent use of taxpayer dollars or resources.

“With the mounting national debt, rising oil prices and the exploding trade deficit, it is illogical for the U.S. government to spend millions of dollars to expand a military maneuvers site that threatens our rural communities, schools, our very homes and livelihoods. America can no longer tolerate the erosion of independent landowners and our agricultural industry. Therefore, CICA adamantly opposes the PCMS expansion plan, and we urge Colorado's elected delegation to join us in opposition.”

Colorado Independent CattleGrower's Association Secretary:

"The Army and The Nature Conservancy have become partners and are planning to take this huge "land grab" as a military taking, when in reality it is really an environmental land and water grab! The first two years of the proposed expansion do nothing more than set up buffer zones along the waterways. TNC wants this area and has for many years. So, what better way to get it by letting the Army do the taking and they sit back and watch. TNC has memorandum of understandings with most govt. agencies and are sitting back waiting for it all to come true.

TNC is a billion dollar "land grabbing leach" that not only wants to own all the water and land, it must also have control of them. The Dept. of Defense doesn't need more land as they already have 25 million acres. Our country cannot afford this taking of private property. The rural counties cannot afford to lose the tax base either. I hope that our politicians wake up before it is too late."

This crisis is happening not just in Colorado. It's happening all over America. Clinton grabbed up huge tracts of land, supported by Bush all the way. It will continue as. long. as. we. allow. it. to. happen.

If you think that it matters which color party lands in the Big White House, then perhaps you could share a little of that fairy dust with me.