Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site on horseback and by tank: 2 views of region under siege (VIDEO)

Locals fighting the Army's plans for increased training on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site -- the subject of this week's cover story, "The War Next Door" -- have a basic public relations problem. Unless you grew up in southeastern Colorado, you probably have never seen its stunning views, hidden canyonlands, prehistoric sites and rare plants and wildlife.

Thank goodness for YouTube.

If it's visuals you want, you can find no stronger contrast than the competing images of Pinon Canyon put out there from various sources. To demonstrate, here's two dueling videos.

The first comes from a 2009 trail ride organized by state representative Wes McKinley, so that tenderfoot types from the statehouse and the media could get a closer look at what's at stake. One of the participants caught on camera, it should be noted, is Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, who wrote a memorable column that fall about the ride and some of the participants.

The second entry below is a report from Fox 21 News, a Colorado Springs station, concerning the Army's creation of a mock Iraqi village on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. Yes, we're still in Colorado -- and basically the same country visited by the lawmakers. But it's different. Army different.

Here's the trail ride:

And here comes the (armored) cavalry:

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Wild horse roundups: Funding cut renews cries to end 'taxpayer-funded animal abuse' (VIDEO)."

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast

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