In 1983, the United States army established an army base in southeastern Colorado with land acquired through purchase and eminent domain. The army promised they would never return for more land but in 2006 they began the process of expanding the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site by nearly half a million acres. Citizens that were displaced the first time were being threatened again. Cattle ranches surround the base many of which have been passed down from generation to generation, including my own family’s ranch.
I was struck by how the Army only talked about the acreage, never the people and so I worked with local grassroots organization, the Piñon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition (PCEOC), to photograph the land owners on the very land they feared losing. My work provided visual support to PCEOC’s campaign, “Not 4 Sale”. To this day the communities of southeastern Colorado has been able to hold off expansion, but continue to remain vigilant.