Saturday, December 01, 2007

NOT 4 SALE! - Oppose the Army's Piñon Canyon Expansion

Posted from Las Animas

I oppose the Army's Piñon Canyon Expansion Proposal. My reason is simple: The land the Army wants to take, by force if necessary, belongs to American ranchers and farmers who have put their heart and souls into developing and maintaining this land.

Make no mistake, this land is sweet. It is the kind of land that the annual thrill-seeking tourista might likely pass by, without a second glance, in their search for the spectacular. But the inhabitants of the land know better. The high plains along the Santa Fe Trail hold rich memories of the Comanche, Cheyenne, Kiowa, the Arapaho, Ute, and Apache; and memories of the American settlers, Charles and William Bent, Kit Carson, John Boggs, Jim Beckwourth, and many others who for a time, short by historical measure, lived and traded in peace with the Indians who held and lived on the lands here.

None of this means anything to the increasingly global-reaching US government. Nothing at all - just a place for the Army to desecrate, and destroy. They don't even need this land.

Go out on the high plains here - become still and let the land speak it's soft voice, of the memories, the joys and tragedies playing out here. In silence the land will reveal itself - it's harshness the buffer of self-protection. It's sweetness, it's mysteries are slow to reveal themselves to the uninitiated - perhaps experienced only by the fortunate who live and work in harmony with this land.

And of course, in addition to the historic Santa Fe Trail's cultural richness, the land is unimaginably rich in geological, and evolutionary markers. This proposed seizure by the Department of Defense is wrong on so many levels, but none more fundamental than the moral and ethical right to own and work on private property - property which has been held in trust by the dauntless ranchers and farmers for generations.

The protest by the environmental groups is nothing more than a red herring. The politicians like the Salazars and Allard, looking for a "win-win solution", will sell the ranchers out in a heartbeat, of that you may be sure. Who would win? The Front Range Cities, such as Colorado Springs, businessmen might see gains; the Army would certainly win, and the US government will continue to prevail in it's demand to ride rough-shod over local economies, and the lives of it's private citizens.

The nature conservancy groups will probably get to add a large chunk of this proposed take-over land to their growing real estate "trust". When that happens, they can and will dictate their own stringent land-use rules, further making the rancher's lives miserable.

What the American people, not just Coloradans, must come to understand is that the nature conservancy groups are deceptively working hand-in-hand with the government to take land away from those to whom it rightfully belongs: The American people. And it's happening all over America.

But the region under this proposed expansion by the Army - the small towns, schools, the local economy, the people living and working the land itself will lose, irrevocably.

The one-year delay, the protests by the environmental groups will pass, leaving the rancher's families and the towns affected to bear the brunt of eminent domain. For this reason, the protest of this proposed take-over of the land must jump to a higher level, loud - vocally, visually.

The towns, and all Coloradans, themselves must take up the fight, not sit back in a wait-and-see attitude. This region will prevail, the rights of all Americans will prevail only if there is an over-whelming outcry and protest to this unethical, immoral, and unnecessary land grab.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. " - Edmund Burke

Pinon Canyon Expansion Presentation part 2