Lamar City Council takes stand on Piñon Canyon
By CRYSTAL TERRELL
LDN Staff Writer
The Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site is at 250 thousand acres, presently located in North Central Las Animas County Colorado . The U.S. Army, through Ft. Carson , Colo. has plans over the next 20 years to expand that to cover 2.5 million acres, basically taking over the Southeastern corner of Colorado , including perhaps Baca County . If Southeastern Baca County falls, (with ranch land owned by Cimarron County ranchers and farmers), it isn't much of a reach to think they might covet Cimarron County . With this in mind, the Boise City News will run over the next few weeks, a series of articles by Crystal Terrell, of the Lamar Daily News on this subject.- The Editor
The Lamar City Council announced in the last regular meeting of October their intention to seek the passing of a resolution to oppose the expansion of the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.
According to documentation on the resolution the Lamar City Council believes that a substantial number of wholesale and retail businesses, including retail feedlots and retail transportation entities, are directly related to the agricultural industry of which the nation thrives for food production.
The City of Lamar representatives noted that the southeastern Colorado area would be severely impacted by the expansion.
“It is the judgment of the City Council of the City of Lamar that the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site Expansion Project would adversely affect the economy of the City of Lamar, the economy of Prowers County, and the region as a whole,” as stated in the resolution for the opposition to the proposed development.
The resolution initiated by the Lamar City Council members stated that because Prowers County has continued to be a predominantly rural area with neighboring other counties with a similar preponderance of rural related industries which persons including farmers and ranchers have maintained their livelihood, “the City of Lamar is desirous of protecting the rights of its citizens and the rights of its neighbors to enjoy the blessings provided to all Americans to include the business operations that they participate in.”
In the resolution the Lamar City Council noted “The United States Army has not recognized the rather serious aesthetic destruction to historical artifacts located in Vogel and Picket Wire Canyons , including the Santa Fe Trail and other closely situated sites which have scientific, historic and tourist-related interest.”
The Lamar City Council members unanimously voted in favor of passage of the resolution opposing the expansion of the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site stating:
“The City Council of the City of Lamar , that the City of Lamar does adamantly oppose any expansion efforts in the Piñon Canyon Area by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense as currently proposed.”
In a follow up conversation with Lamar Mayor Nelva Heath the City of Lamar representative said “There is so much more to our state than just the mountains.”
“There is so much land and so much history to the area. Right now I just think we need to be supportive of our agricultural neighbors.”
Heath continued by echoing the vast beauty of the region and said, “The heritage of this entire area is extremely important.”
The mayor then commented on the economical impact and the economical views, which in her opinion, are being overlooked.
Boise City News