Army backing off on most of Pinon Canyon |

Army backing off on most of Pinon Canyon

FORT CARSON ” The Army says it is scaling back plans for a major expansion of its Pinon Canyon maneuver area, a plan hotly contested by farmers and ranchers and questioned by members of the state’s congressional delegation.

Assistant Army Secretary Keith Eastin said the Army believes it can find willing sellers of 100,000 acres to expand the training site in southeastern Colorado, but will not seek more.

An Army report to be released Saturday said that 100,000 acres aren’t enough to give the soldiers the training they need, but it doesn’t have the money to buy more land. It also conceded the opposition of locals ranchers and farmers is a factor.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., said she would keep a close eye on the Army to make sure it doesn’t break a congressional ban on any use of Army construction money for an expansion of Pinon Canyon, spokesman Joe Brettell said Friday.

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