Saturday, June 2, 2007

Picket Wire Canyonlands Threatened

Ft. Carson, Colorado, is located in a landscape of breathtaking natural beauty. Picket Wire Canyon, part of the Comanche National Grassland, sits adjacent to the fort's Pinon Canyon testing range. The Canyon gets its name from the river, which is a corruption of the French Purgatoire, which in turn comes from the Spanish Río Purgatorio. Now the fort wants to extend the firing range into the Picket Wire Canyonlands. This move has gained publicity in part because the area contains the largest dinosaur track site on the continent. However, there are also archaeological sites at risk, including a late 19th century Mexican Dolores Mission, the ruins of a ranch that was continuously occupied from 1874 to 1974, and Native American petroglyphs. Currently, community activists are attempting to gain public attention in an attempt to block the expansion. If anyone reading this is from Colorado, I'd like to hear your view on this debate.

Pictures of the dinosaur tracks and some of the archaeological remains can be found here.

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