2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 25 Aug 2003 15:23:59 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Military Pitfalls
Military Pitfalls
It's Bureaucracy 1, Camp Bonneville 0 -- but this was only the first
August 22, 2003

Negotiations to win transfer of Camp Bonneville from the U.S. Army to
Clark County have collapsed, but that doesn't mean the county should
abandon the goal.

If anything, the failed effort to turn the former military base into a
regional park and activities center has given local officials an
unpleasant but revealing look at the pitfalls of dealing with our
nation's military bureaucracy. The experience should come in handy as
they continue to pursue the task of prying Camp Bonneville loose from
the fingers of the Pentagon.

If county officials made a mistake, it was in believing that such a
complex arrangement could be completed on a fast-track basis in the
first go-round. After all, the Army ceased training activities at the
heavily wooded and remote 3,840-acre reserve north of Camas only eight
years ago -- a long time for most of us, but apparently not enough for
the armed forces to decide what they want to do with the old base.

County officials thought they could help the Pentagon make up its mind
using the 1990 Base Realignment and Closure Act, which would have
allowed for an immediate transfer of title while still holding the Army
financially responsible for cleanup. Decades of military training
exercises have left Camp Bonneville with significant pollution problems,
including unexploded shells and ammunition, and chemical contamination
of soil and groundwater. But those problems are not insurmountable as
long as the military is willing to foot the bill.

This editorial can be viewed at:

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