Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, will host a meeting next week with Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack and community leaders from southern Colorado to discuss the future of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site -- an issue of critical importance to Colorado soldiers and ranchers. The meeting will take place Tuesday afternoon at Pinon Canyon and will provide a forum for elected officials to engage with the senior Army official for land use, installations and environmental management.
"I'm proud to host this meeting between Assistant Secretary Hammack and southern Colorado officials to discuss the current and future operations of Pinon Canyon," Udall said. "Pinon Canyon is critically important to our soldiers, our ranchers and our economy, and I believe that the only way to move forward is through open dialogue and good faith efforts to find common-sense solutions."
"The Army needs the support of our community stakeholders to ensure we preserve and sustain our ability to train at Pinon Canyon over the long term," Hammack said. "This is my first time visiting this training site which is a critical asset in today's Army. Pinon Canyon provides soldiers the space they need to conduct pre-deployment training that plays a significant role in their readiness."
Udall has been a strong advocate for the people of southern Colorado and has fought to secure assurances from the Army that it will not expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. Udall also is supporting an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that makes it clear the U.S. Army cannot expand the site without specific approval by Congress and a thorough environmental study.