2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 23 Oct 2003 20:13:25 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] From Sea to Shining Sea, Desert, and Mountains
The effort to create a massive Greenway along flight routes serving
Florida's Eglin Air Force base and the Defense Department's opposition
to the Centennial development in California's Antelope Valley illustrate
two significant instances where the interests of the military and
conservationists overlap. Admiral Betancourt, is his letter about the
Centennial proposal, didn't mention the environmental issues associated
with the Tejon Ranch, but those may be found at
http://www.environmentnow.org/urban.html. (Scroll down the page.)

It shouldn't be surprising that routine low-level military training and
testing flights are conducted over vast open spaces. If they were
primarily flown in urban areas, complaints by the residents would
quickly shut them down. Thus, those who seek to conserve open space to
preserve habitat, facilitate outdoor recreation, or promote smart growth
share common ground with the military, as long as overflights don't
thoroughly disrupt the natural environment.

Florida's Greenway project is bringing together disparate constituencies
to protect that common ground, but California must act quickly to
preserve the Tejon Ranch and the flight routes above it. Either through
property acquisition or regulation, it's possible to limit or even halt
the proposed development, but the longer it takes to say NO the more
costly it may get. Once a land use change is approved, the price of
acquisition goes up, and new rules against development become a
constitutional "taking," requiring compensation.

The upcoming battle over the Tejon Ranch is not just a test of the
ability of conservationists, the military, and smart planners to work
together, it may be one of the biggest cases.

Lenny Siegel

Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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