Bennet Welcomes Repeal of Land-Acquisition Waiver for Expansion of Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site

Repeal Provides Certainty for Southeastern Colorado Ranchers

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today welcomed the U.S. Department of Defense’s announcement that it is withdrawing its land-acquisition waiver that would have to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site near Trinidad.

“Today’s announcement ends years of uncertainty for ranchers and the communities in southeast Colorado,” Bennet said. “It alleviates residents’ concerns that they will be displaced by expansion and while maintaining the Army’s access to training missions on this unique terrain. The waiver’s withdrawal is a major step in creating a strong and productive relationship between southern Colorado and the Army that is mutually beneficial to the region, its economy and our national security.”

Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has worked closely with members of the Colorado Congressional delegation to secure extensions of the moratorium on expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. In 2009, Bennet joined Senator Mark Udall and then-Representatives John Salazar and Betsy Markey to secure a ban on funding for any expansion of the site. In 2011, Bennet and Senator Mark Udall secured a letter from Army Secretary John McHugh providing assurances that the Army is not planning to expand and that expansion was not included in its five year plan. Bennet also worked with Senator Udall and Representatives Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner to advocate for a repeal of the land acquisition waiver.