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The southeast Colorado grasslands are the last, intact shortgrass prairie steppe in Colorado. Bordered roughly by the towns of LaJunta, Trinidad and Kim, the land is a mix of private ranches and Comanche National Grassland. As harsh an environment as any, it is also diverse and rich with wildlife, canyons carved by rivers flowing from the Rockies, mesas flanked by pinon-juniper forest, and a sea of grass in-between. Archeological sites await exploration and the largest, and most important dinosaur track site in North America lines the Purgatoire River in Picketwire Canyon.

June, 2009 Update: Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has signed legislation that will bar the CO State Land Board from selling or leasing land around the current Piñon Canyon Maneuver site. Colorado State Representatives Sal Pace - Pueblo, Wes McKinley - Walsh, and Ken Lester - Las Animas authored the bill. Thank you to our elected officials for listening to Coloradans and protecting these important lands! It's not over, but it feels good to report that conservationists - ranchers and non-ranchers alike - will be able to enjoy these lands for their special qualities, and future generations can experience the beauty and wildlife of the shortgrass prairie!

comanche national grassland, great horned owl, nest
threadleaf wildflowers, southeast Colorado, Picture Canyon
petroglyphs, Los Animas County, Native American
Southeast Colorado, Organic Ranching, Mesa De Maya
Comanche National Grassland, shale hills
Pi

The U.S. Army wants to "acquire" 418,000 acres of this grassland through eminent domain. The land would be used for training of troops, running tanks over fragile shortgrass prairie, and dropping bombs (live ammo) from unmanned aircraft. To date, the Army has been denied the funding for their grandiose plan and the Not One More Acre trust has sued the Army over their environmental impact study. The local ranching community remembers the shame of condemnation when the Army took their land for the current Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (238,000 acres) and is universally opposed to any expansion. The most endangered ecosystem on earth is truly No Place For War. What you can do: Write your representatives in the U.S. Senate and Congress and tell them that you are opposed to any expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.