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Smaller expansion among proposals for maneuver area
By Carlyn Ray Mitchell , The Gazette
Published March 7, 2008 at 12:30 a.m.
Updated March 7, 2008 at 2:33 a.m.
The Army is examining options for its proposed expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, including one presented last week to southern Colorado officials for an expansion a quarter the size of the original plan.
Las Animas County commissioners learned of the option of expanding the site by 100,000 acres - instead of the 418,000 acres originally proposed - at a meeting with Army officials at the Pentagon.
Commissioner Jim Montoya said Army officials told him and his colleagues that the smaller expansion wouldn't require the use of eminent domain, which Montoya said he took to mean the Army has identified willing sellers in the area.
The Army has said it needs to increase the 368-square-mile Pinon Canyon site to about 1,000 square miles to accommodate training for 10,000 more troops being transferred to Fort Carson.
Ranchers in the region have fought the expansion since the proposal was unveiled in 2006, claiming that the Army will seize land under federal condemnation laws.
Army officials said Thursday that the 100,000-acre expansion option - called "Area A" - is one of several that the military is required to look at under the 2008 Defense Authorization Act, which put Pinon Canyon expansion plans on hold for a year so the Army can further study the area and prove to Congress the need for expansion.
"The Army is required under the report to consider whether there are quantifiable training benefits to be gained from acquiring something less than the full 418,000 (acres) training land requirement originally sought," Army spokesperson Dave Foster said in a statement.
Other options include expanding into the 300,000 acre "Area B" and sticking with the original plan of expanding into both Areas A and B.
Foster said while the Army has had "limited, informal contact with nearby landowners regarding both potential willingness and unwillingness to sell property to the Army, . . . no formal negotiations have ever occurred with property owners."
Originally posted by scrubsnstuffkim
It would be much easier to implement "martial law" if the ones enforcing it were not American soldiers.....as American soldiers would not rise against their own...just a thought.
New Data Confirms Strong Earthquake Risk to Central U.S.
By Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Senior Writer
A colossal earthquake that caused damage from South Carolina to Washington D.C. and temporarily reversed the course of the Mississippi River nearly two centuries ago could be repeated within the next 50 years, scientists said today.
Strain is building on a fault near Memphis, Tennessee that was the site of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in 1812. . .
The odds of another 8.0 event within 50 years are between 7 and 10 percent, geologists said today. . . .
Such a strong earthquake would rock the entire eastern half of the country and prove devastating to the local region.
A lesser but still damaging quake of magnitude 6 or greater has a 90 percent chance of striking in the next five decades.