Pinon Canyon Fight Goes To Court

Opponents to the US Army’s Pinon Canyon expansion have filed papers in federal district court alleging that the military has balked at responding to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the proposal, which would add 418,577 acres to the Army’s Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado.

An opposition nonprofit group called Not 1 More Acre! has gone to court in an effort to gain relevant information about the expansion that could be used to publicly comment on the proposal. They are requesting a court order to require the Army to produce the records.The organization filed the records request in early December, and says they have yet to receive a response in over 60 days.

This comes right after the Army announced it had received a wavier from the Pentagon to begin drafting an environmental impact statement about the expansion.

But without records on the proposal, opponents say they won’t be able to give a detailed public comment on environmental consequences. The public comment period closes today.

According to Steve Harris, an attorney with the plaintiffs, the Army has 30 days to respond to the legal papers. A hearing date has not been set.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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