These two articles in Colorado Springs Independent and Denver Post are just the latest in an ongoing saga about the move by the U.S.Army to expand its Fort Carson base to include an additional million acres of land full of historical and prehistorical monuments, from wall paintings to dinosaur fossils.
The Fort Carson base, as it is now, is partially a nature preserve (like many military facilities are), but expansion, apart from kicking out many local farmers by using eminent domain, will intrude into areas rich with historical artefacts, not to mention dinosaur bones and tracks, most still not excavated and studied yet.
Lealaps, John Wilkins, MJS and PZ Myers have more information, as well as thoughts about possible motivation, i.e., not just obtuseness and ignorance, but active intent to destroy the area by the increasingly fundamentalist leadership of the Army.
The comparison between this move by the Army and the destruction of Buddhas by the Taliban is apt. Actually, it is worse: Buddhas were hundreds, perhaps thousands of years old and they were human artifacts – they can be rebuilt the way they were before from pictures and blueprints. But the dino bones are millions of years old and are important data towards understanding the history of Life on Earth – they cannot be replaced, even if we knew exactly how they looked like – and we don’t. We don’t have the pictures and blueprints for them.
The Colorado legislature and congressional delegation are, for the most part, against the expansion, but they are probably not strong enough to pull it off by themselves. But you can help. First go to the Pinon Canyon homepage and look around to get informed and see the maps of the place. Then sign the petition and contact elected officials on this matter. Finally – be creative! Make a YouTube movie, or start a Facebook group, or spread the petition through other social networking sites. E-mail your friends. And post about it on your blog if you have one, linking to the official site and petition.