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Posted: 11/28/2001 4:15:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/28/2001 4:10:00 PM EDT by warlord]
[url]http://www.desertdispatch.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1006966348,28768,[/url] Public comment requested for Fort Irwin expansion proposal RYAN DAUGHERTY/Staff Writer BARSTOW — Public comment regarding a $124 million proposed expansion of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin will be taken by Fort officials on Thursday. Meetings will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 220 E. Mountain View St. Fort Irwin Deputy Program Manager Tim Reischl is a member of the Temecula-based Charis Corporation hired by the Army to conduct expansion-related studies. He encouraged anyone with a stake in the proposed expansion, submitted to Congress in July, to speak up at the meeting. “We’re honestly looking for things we didn’t think about,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for anybody to give input on the issues.” Bureau of Land Management realty specialist Mike DeKeyrel said one possible sticking point could be the proposed closure of Copper City Road, a leading access point from Irwin Road to areas used by off-roaders and others, including the Inscription Canyon petroglyph site. “We don’t really know if in fact that road would be blocked off to the public,” he said. “It is a concern for folks that normally use that road for access to that area, so it would be important for them to identify that concern at the meeting.” DeKeyrel said although an alternate access road exists, he doesn’t recommend traveling it without a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Environmental groups remain opposed to the proposed expansion of 46,000 acres into parts of the Silurian Valley east of Fort Irwin towards Death Valley and Baker, and by 64,000 acres in the Superior Valley, south of Fort Irwin toward Barstow. An additional 20,000 acres of Army-owned land would also become available for training exercises if Congress passes the proposal. Daniel Patterson, a lead wildlife ecologist for the Tuscon, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity, maintains the Army should clean up the 89,000-acre Leach Lake artillery range area instead of expanding its boundaries. Fort spokesman Maj. Rob Ali has said that would be dangerous, as Leach Lake is riddled with Air Force bombs dropped over years of training exercises. Ali said the cleanup effort would also cost the Army around $250 million. Patterson said disarming bombs in Leach Lake could be a “valuable training exercise” for soldiers. “Their refusal to do that just shows a real lack of concern for the broader public interest,” he said.
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 4:15:59 PM EDT
The Center and other environmental groups, such as the California Native Plant Society, remain concerned with the survival of the desert tortoise and the Lane Mountain milk vetch plant. The Center and the Society recently filed a lawsuit in San Diego accusing the Department of Fish and Wildlife of not doing enough to protect both species from the proposed expansion. Reischl expects a draft environmental impact statement being prepared in cooperation with the Air Force, Navy, NASA and BLM to be ready by December 2002, a necessary step before the expansion may pass. He said more public comment will be solicited after the draft EIS is ready. Reischl will also have an “interested party list” available for people at the meeting. Those who sign up will automatically be informed of new developments when they occur, he said. For more information, visit the Fort’s website at www.fortirwinlandexpansion.com or call the Fort at 380-2503. Written comments will be accepted during the meeting, and until Dec. 29 by writing to the NTC Strategic Plans Office, P.O. Box 10309, Fort Irwin, CA 92310. Copyright © 2000 Desert Dispatch.
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 4:33:02 PM EDT
Hey Warlord- Do you live in the High Desert? I live in Barstow. I also used to be stationed at Ft.Irwin.
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 8:13:28 PM EDT
I got it Let Daniel Patterson go and play with UXO in the desert and see how he likes it. Jackass! Daniel Patterson, a lead wildlife ecologist for the Tuscon, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity, maintains the Army should clean up the 89,000-acre Leach Lake artillery range area instead of expanding its boundaries. Patterson said disarming bombs in Leach Lake could be a “valuable training exercise” for soldiers. “Their refusal to do that just shows a real lack of concern for the broader public interest,” he said. I guess all the war games they play out there would be just for fun and not for the broader public interest. Jackass! I have been to the dust bowl many times and guess what-that place sucks! Enviroweenies!
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 11:05:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Krakatoa: Hey Warlord- Do you live in the High Desert? I live in Barstow. I also used to be stationed at Ft.Irwin.
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Yep, lived there for 18 years. Used to be called Camp Irwin when I was there. I don't remember for sure, but I think this is one of the few facilities inside the U.S. where the Army can shoot their biggest guns with maximam elevation and not endanger any people. When I was there, there wasn't a lot of concern for the environment. When I was a kid, my dad used to take the family to Ft. Irwin for Armed Forces Day when it was celebrated. We had a chance to ride in one of the armoured troop carriers. Man was that a bumpy ride. Even though I was never in the military, I posted this as a FYI because I figure there are a lot of ex and current military people on our board. Of course there is NASA's GoldStone Tracking station, and the USMC's biggest supply depot west of the Mississippi is just outside of town. You can see row and rows of OD tanks and jeeps parked there.
Link Posted: 11/29/2001 5:56:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/29/2001 6:55:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/29/2001 6:47:58 AM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By warlord: Daniel Patterson, a lead wildlife ecologist for the Tuscon, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity, maintains the Army should clean up the 89,000-acre Leach Lake artillery range area instead of expanding its boundaries. Fort spokesman Maj. Rob Ali has said that would be dangerous, as Leach Lake is riddled with Air Force bombs dropped over years of training exercises. Ali said the cleanup effort would also cost the Army around $250 million. Patterson said disarming bombs in Leach Lake could be a “valuable training exercise” for soldiers. “Their refusal to do that just shows a real lack of concern for the broader public interest,” he said.
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Actually they have civilian contractors to pickup the non-explosive junk over there. The base hire a supposedly explosives and demolition expert to supervise them. Well anyway, an unexploded shell got past this expert, and was sold to a scrap metal dealer who hauled it away. The scrape metal dealer was cutting this stuff from the base up into small pieces, and of course the unlucky soul encountered the unexploded shell, and preceded to cut it up; and of course KABOOM! Man was killed, explosive expert was fired, and the govt tried to charge the explosive expert with negligence, he was acquitted.
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