At the desk, 7:49 a.m.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day trying to figure out land ratios.
What is a section?
A section is a 1 mile by 1 mile area of land which equals 640 acres.
What the heck is a Township Range Section also called Township and Range or Public Land Survey System?
A Township Range section is a 6 section by 6 section block or 36 sections and 23040 acres.
It gets much more complicated from there. If you're truly fascinated you can find out more information here.
Why the heck was I trying to figure all this out?
I was trying to figure out what the Army's attempted snag in Southern Colorado actually looks like. The Army is attempting to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site by 485,000 acres. (That's 21 Township Range Sections for those of you paying attention.)
Originally, it looked like they needed more land to practice for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In the current climate, it looks like they plan to move Fort Carson out of the mountains above Colorado Springs to lower Colorado. This site would link with the Air Force base in New Mexico to create a kind of uber-base or what some people are calling the Department of Defense's 51 state.
This is a complicated issue which matches the need for national security and the reality that this property is the least inhabited in the continental US with a way of life that stretches back at least four generations. Of course, that's not to mention the environmental impact, endangered species, gorgeous wilderness area, state wildlife areas, the hunting, fishing, and recreation activities or even the cattle that are ranged in this region.
For as much as I'd like to point you in the direction of a simple answer here, there isn't one.
The Army was held off by state and national officials. They are now attempting to "get along" with their neighbors better and the President has affirmed that the Army will not seek expansion for the next 5 years. Instead, they are moving a helicopter brigade there and also have created a drone test/fly zone across much of the acreage.
When you look at this map, you can see why people panic.
I also think that we're all hoping the wars are coming to an end. Why would the Army need such a massive training facility? Of course, there's no answer to that. Nor is there an answer to the "Everyone wants a military to protect them, but no one wants to make the sacrifices to make it work."
No great answers here - only questions, opinions, and ideas. To a certain extent, the entire debacle is democracy at it's finest.
Anyway, that's where I've been.