Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site on horseback and by tank: 2 views of region under siege (VIDEO)

Locals fighting the Army's plans for increased training on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site -- the subject of this week's cover story, "The War Next Door" -- have a basic public relations problem. Unless you grew up in southeastern Colorado, you probably have never seen its stunning views, hidden canyonlands, prehistoric sites and rare plants and wildlife.

Thank goodness for YouTube.

If it's visuals you want, you can find no stronger contrast than the competing images of Pinon Canyon put out there from various sources. To demonstrate, here's two dueling videos.

The first comes from a 2009 trail ride organized by state representative Wes McKinley, so that tenderfoot types from the statehouse and the media could get a closer look at what's at stake. One of the participants caught on camera, it should be noted, is Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, who wrote a memorable column that fall about the ride and some of the participants.

The second entry below is a report from Fox 21 News, a Colorado Springs station, concerning the Army's creation of a mock Iraqi village on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. Yes, we're still in Colorado -- and basically the same country visited by the lawmakers. But it's different. Army different.

Here's the trail ride:

And here comes the (armored) cavalry:

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Wild horse roundups: Funding cut renews cries to end 'taxpayer-funded animal abuse' (VIDEO)."

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Indeed the two videos are very eye opening. The Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site as it is today, should never have been allowed in this area. I respect the rights of the generations that have lived in this area. At all costs, this area should not be all allowed any further expansion by the U.S. Army, or, any others that would choose to rape this land any further. This area holds alot of history that has endured many generations of dedicated families to preserve the integrity of the relics of our ancestors, and the preservation of the land. If the army needs to expand then do so in your own back yards. We cherish our heritage, and, we are proud of our way of living. I will strongly support members of the "NOT ONE MORE ACRE" coalition. These proud members are Americans.....the same Americans that elected you into the government offices you now hold...Why continue to try and take their land and lively hood? Have not they as Americans spoke???? Take away more land in Colorado you think their families will give up their homes, their lively hood, their land that they have had for generations, with out a second thought or a battle???? Take your cause to the area that has been an army base for years...expand and push adjacent landowners from their homes.....there are several areas in Colorado that have similar landscapes, go check them out and, see if they feel the Army needs to expand in their back yards. Of course I can and would like to comment do you get the message across to those that can not listen........"NOT ONE MORE ACRE."


These two videos are very eye opening. You can see the hidden oasis and the lush greenery in the trail ride video, and you can feel the reverence the people have for the hidden treasures out int he canyons. The army video displays very vividly the mud, and you can see the tanks leaving deep ruts int heir wake. Eloquent without the need for words.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Loriholdread, your take is eloquent as well. Thanks for sharing it.

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