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NO to war training in the fragile high country of the West.
Another national forest is threatened by military training, this time the Lincoln National Forest Sacramento Ranger District in southern New Mexico. Peaceful Skies Coalition submitted a strong comment of opposition to the plan by Fort Bliss to increase landing zones and bring war training to the peaks of the mountains. There seems to be no limit to the planned environmental assaults on the few remaining fragile, high country, iconic landscapes of the American West.
An earlier analysis of the area written by the Lincoln NF describes its importance, stating, “The proposed area is significant socially, ecologically, and economically. … Ecologically, the area contains the largest number of Threatened and Endangered species (namely, Mexican Spotted Owl or Strix occidentalis lucida) per acre within the Southwestern Region.”
Two other important species in need of protection are the Sacramento Checkerspot Butterfly shown in the photo and the Northern Goshawk.
This is the third time this year that Peaceful Skies Coalition has opposed the expansion of High Altitude Mountain Environment Training areas (HAMETs). The proliferation of training locations is alarming. HAMETs have been proposed in Colorado by Fort Carson in the Royal Gorge District, Bureau of Land Management and an extreme proposal by Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) seeking huge swaths of public land throughout Washington State, in National Forests, National Parks, and even a Wilderness Area.
The public outcry to the JBLM proposal was powerful and the initial proposal was withdrawn although it is expected to return in a slightly smaller version. PSC comments of opposition to the Colorado proposal is here and to the Washington proposal here. Other HAMETs and proposed expansions are in Hawai’i, Idaho, and California. As more research is done, it is likely that more Pentagon threats to the public lands will be exposed.
PSC comments always strongly express the position that each and every NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) proposal by the Pentagon fails to comply with both laws and regulations. Peaceful Skies Coalition insists that the government assure an independent study of military land, water and airspace in order to establish a national baseline of the environmental impacts of militarism. Without a meaningful baseline, NEPA proposals can never determine cumulative or other impacts as required by law.
Work for Peace – Take the Activist Pledge
Sign the Activist Peace Pledge. This shows that you commit to write letters to the editor, ask candidates to take the pledge, and promote the peace pledge through social media.
Each of us can bring a discussion of peace into the election. Support the Candidate Peace Pledge Campaign. Any candidate for any office in any party or no party can take the pledge. Candidates from a number of states have been taking the pledge. Candidates from the Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the California-based Peace and Freedom Party have taken the pledge. New Mexico Senators Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Carlos Cisneros were the first elected officials to take the pledge.
HAS YOUR CANDIDATE TAKEN THE PLEDGE? Do you want to take a stand for peace and hold candidates accountable? If you do, it’s time to sign them up!
The pledge has 3 points:
1. Work to end the global epidemic of violence by prioritizing diplomacy, peacemaking, and the demilitarization of the police. I will work to stop war, declared or undeclared, and oppose asymmetric uses of airpower and the proliferation of special operations.
2. Prioritize economic conversion, demilitarize the economy and hold the Pentagon accountable.
3. Work for the cleanup of all toxic military sites and protect the public health. Biological, chemical and nuclear warfare research, development, use, and waste across the US and around the world has resulted in the destruction of human and environmental health.It is an obligation of government at all levels to repair the damage to the highest degree possible.
Campaign season is the best to time be an activist for peace. It is the one time when candidates and elected officials pay attention to the public.
Please take a stand for peace.
Organizing for peace, protecting the environment, working to demilitarize our public lands, and uniting communities fighting military expansion.
P.O. Box 322
Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico 87513