Colo. Ranchers Battle Army Land Grab

Coloradans balk at plans to expand training base onto vast tract of rangeland
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2009 6:29 AM CDT
An Army analysis recommended the military expand training grounds in southeast Colorado because of the landscape's similarity to many regions in the Middle East.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Ranchers in southeast Colorado have fought the US Army to a standstill over plans to expand a training site onto their land, the Wall Street Journal reports. An Army analysis found that the grasslands were ideal for combat training, and recommended the military acquire 7 million acres, but the ranchers have balked at turning over a single acre of the lands that their cattle have grazed for generations.

The Army has found few owners willing to sell. The ranchers, fearing their land might be seized through the right of eminent domain, are pushing Congress to pass a law barring the military from expanding into the region. Some state lawmakers, however, warn that the Army might pull all its facilities out of Colorado if it doesn't get its way, ruining the state's economy.