Project Description

Initiative: Military Proposals Without Environmental Reviews

The Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS), located in Las Animas County, Colorado, supports a diverse ecosystem with large numbers of big and small game, fisheries, non-game wildlife, forest, rangeland, mineral resources and significant archeological and paleontological resources. After acquiring more than half of the PCMS land through eminent domain in 1983, the Army proposed to expand the PCMS by nearly 7 million acres two decades later. The proposed expansion would have made PCMS three times larger than any other military base in the U.S. Fortunately, an opposition group comprised of ranchers, land-owners, citizens and environmental groups like Rock the Earth, pushed back.

In 2013 the Army announced that it was suspending its plan to expand PCMS. By 2014, however, the Army announced that it would instead intensify the activities within the existing boundaries of the site. The “intensification” is said to include a significant increase in number of exercises and troops using live munitions.. Once again, the Army made this decision without a proper and thorough environmental review.

Rock the Earth opposes a functional expansion or intensified use of the PCMS because the U.S. Army:

  • Fails to adequately present and justify alternatives for the proposed increase in use
  • Has not provided meaningful opportunities for public input, including opportunities for meaningful public input
  • Does not sufficiently evaluate past, present, and future environmental impacts, including impacts from noise, to cultural artifacts and resources, air quality, endangered species, wildlife, vegetation, the federally-protected Comanche National Grasslands, geology and soils, and water resources
  • Does not include discretionary mitigation efforts potentially restricted by appropriated funding

 

What You Can Do

  • Contact Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner and them know you oppose the Army’s decision to intensify their activities in the PCMS without properly complying with all appropriate NEPA regulations.
  • Contact Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack to communicate your opposition to intensified military maneuvers without consideration of environmental impacts or potential alternatives.
  • Sign up with Rock the Earth alerts for in person opportunities to oppose the Army’s noncompliance with EIS requirements around the PCMS.

If you’d like more information about Rock the Earth’s Education and Outreach or Legal and Technical work in opposition to the expansion of the PCMS, contact us.