2001 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 27 Feb 2001 20:14:33 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Encroachment
from Marianne Thaeler <MThaeler@aol.com>


I read the Encroachment message with interest. Couched in the terms of
"encroachment" on military uses, the public sees military uses as
"encroachment" on existing land uses.

Yes, all can agree urban sprawl is a major issue which local
governments, cities and counties, have not universally wanted to
address. Sub-dividers come and go, leaving a larger tax base for local
governments. Green belts and buffer zones are encouraged, but few local
governments have had the courage to establish and enforce them. Bottom
line - taxes, political influence and power through "partnering" are at

Rural sprawl is a newer phenomena - within and outside potential green
belts. "Development rights" differ from state to state, depending on the
enabling legislation. These "rights" are donated to not-for-profit
organizations to gain tax benefits. They are not always recorded with
specific deeds. Usually these "rights" are part of a plan (scheme) to
protect one property while developing another. There are a number of
ways this is done. One example - farmer trades land and "development
rights" to protect farming heritage, while acquiring other lands in
trade, usually from a federal or state land management agencies, to
sub-divide, and thus creates rural sprawl. A rancher variation includes
reserving grazing rights on the private lands sold around the designated
domestic home sites within the lot. Thus, a military acquisition or use
increase rural sprawl, not alleviate it.   

But, there are yet other "partnering" arrangements which relate directly
to military lands in rural areas. These involves federal public lands.
"Buffer zones" presently exist around western ranges. Public land
ranchers receive generous payments as part of program costs to evacuate
their private lands and public land grazing allotments during testing
and training periods. These payments are protected by congressional
delegations. Thus, voter and campaign contribution bases are created,
and marginally profitable ranching operations become lucrative. 

Use of federal public lands is not free for military use. Outside of
specially designated areas, every square acre of federal public lands
are presently available for some commercial purpose, although recent
challenges to the use of national forest lands for logging based on
endangered species and old growth protection have had some success.
Those using these federal public lands (ranchers are all incorporated)
are prepared to quote the dollars and cents that they expect to be paid
for use by the military. 

"Encroachment" problems are not limited to the United States, nations
around the globe face the same problems created by population growth and
expanded desire for private property ownership. 

The dilemma is real. There are no easy answers. It is heartening to hear
that the military is finally looking at the big picture, how does it fit
training and testing needs within the framework of existing land uses
outside their existing fence lines. 

Questions that are raised - To what degree will the public tolerate
military training and testing outside its existing boundaries, if at
all? Will the costs to monetary and services prestige force the
development of yet newer military tactics, weapons, munitions and
equipment to meet the existing and growing restraints needed for
training and testing areas? Partnering as a solution, is not the sole

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