Don't Tread On Me
May 31, 2007 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Dinos' might in army sights. The Comanche National Grasslands located near The Sex Change Capital of the World is under threat by an expanding Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site [attached to Fort Carson]. Home to countless fossils, and Native American cave art, the Purgatoire River could end up like The Stronghold Unit of the Badlands in South Dakota with one of the largest dinosaur tracks site in the world damaged or destroyed and rendered inaccessible to scientists.
posted by Stynxno (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
dude, there's a war on. we can't be worrying about a lot of redskin savage relics and nerdy fossils. terra! terra! terra!
posted by quonsar at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2007

Just what we need - more fucking military acreage. They've closed up a great number of bases in the past decade - why not use those for "critical maneuver lands"?

I used to scoff at those "It will be a great day when education has all the money it needs, and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber" bumper stickers, but I must say I agree anymore.
posted by notsnot at 9:21 AM on May 31, 2007

A surge in the war on science.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:40 AM on May 31, 2007

It's not just the US. Salibsury plain in the UK is one of the most important archaeological landscapes in Europe and a major nexus of Tank manoeuvres. Perversely, however, these defence properties can protect very large areas from piecemeal destruction, and, not only the major landmarks but much intervening minor landscape features can get preserved. So it is a trade off -- agriculture is a far greater threat to most archaeological landscapes.

it reminds me of a project a graduate student of mine did. The US airforce had a bombing range in the NW USA measuring around 10 by 20 km. They carefully document all the archaeological sites -- numbering almost 1000, in the range. Then they never used the range. It was a treasure trove of the archaeological landscape. The US Military is actually heavily involved in archaeology through the US Army Corps of Engineers, who do some of the best archaeology in the country. They are far better to deal with, and much more responsible, than the average private citizen or corporation. (Mind you, they might still bomb the shit out of that range)

If you want real US Army - instigated destruction of archaeology, look no further than Iraq, army base in Babylon.
posted by Rumple at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2007

I love dinosaurs as much as the next kid, but you know... I wish I could get outraged about this.
posted by fusinski at 10:21 AM on May 31, 2007

RumpleSeconding Rumple's comment, I have done some work with the ACOE at an active military facility in Southern California, and it was amazing to me the steps they took to preserve archaelogical sites. They also worked closely with academic institutions to allow access for academic reasons. Sucks that public access could be lost, but the thought of Joe Schmoe out there digging up some bones with a pickaxe irks me too.
posted by Big_B at 1:07 PM on May 31, 2007

Too bad they don't seem so careful about living people near military bases.
Otis AFB, superfund site
Chanute AFB, superfund site
Andrews AFB, superfund site
Luke AFB,superfund site
There's a long list, but not all in one place.
Some of those are on this list of 59 bases "known to be contaminated." (From 1992)
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:43 PM on May 31, 2007

Biber was performing roughly four sex change operations a day,

Whoa. Just a snip and off to the next patient?
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2007

Access to the main dinosaur track area along the Purgatoire is already obstructed by a military reserve, you need a permit to drive down to them (or make a long walk around).

The expansion of the army presence is strongly opposed by both the locals and the State of Colorado. Will the Feds listen?
posted by tgyg at 5:10 PM on May 31, 2007

As an aside, one of the locals (I no longer am) made this suggestion: create a military maneuver area along the Mexican border and kill two birds with one stone.
posted by tgyg at 5:21 PM on May 31, 2007

The war machine will never be sated.
posted by rougy at 9:46 PM on May 31, 2007

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