Beware of what the Air Force is planning to do above your property! |

Beware of what the Air Force is planning to do above your property!

Pat Goggins Diamond Ring Ranch Miles City, MT

Are you aware that the United States Air Force (USAF) and its Strategic Air Command proposes to create what they call the Powder River Training Complex? This action will negatively affect thousands of people living in certain areas of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The plan is for the Strategic Air Command to use B1 and B52 bombers in this area for training missions, including high altitude, sound barrier breaking flights and low altitude runs down to within 500 feet of ground level. It also calls for night training missions where the use of flares could potentially start fires, as well as drop training chaff to confuse radar transmissions. Flights could contain from four to 24 ships in a mission, covering from 37,800 square miles for high altitude maneuvers and 31,700 square miles of Military Operations Areas (MOA) for low altitude training.

It is important that you ranchers, homeowners, environmental stewards and sportsmen get concerned. This Powder River Training Complex plan is detrimental to all aspects of life in this area as we know it.

Major concerns include:

Breaking the sound barriers as well as low flight training will be a disruption to livestock, wildlife and humans. In some documented cases in Nevada, under these same circumstances, the breed up rate on cows dropped from 93 percent to under 50 percent due to the stress caused by these training flights.

Flares released during night training will potentially cause large scale brush fires in the dry season. One percent of the flares released do not activate, placing live rounds onto ranches and roads which would be either activated or disturbed by human and livestock activity.

Chaff dropped by these missions will be widespread on grazing land.

Ranchers will be required, by law, to disclose whether this property is in the MOA training zone when leasing or selling their property which could lead to the devaluation of said property.

It would disrupt flights in and around the affected areas, estimated to be around 50 airports, leading to safety and economic concerns.

There is nothing that prevents the USAF from significantly increasing the use of this training area well beyond what is understood now.

The counties that will be included in the Powder River Training Complex are:

Montana – Carter, Custer, Powder River, Yellowstone, Big Horn, Fallon, Rosebud and Treasure, along with the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations.

North Dakota: Standing Rock Reservation and counties of Adams, Billings, Bowman, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger, Morton, Sioux, Slope and Stark.

South Dakota: Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations and counties of Butte, Corson, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Perkins and Ziebach.

Wyoming: Counties of Campbell, Crook, Sheridan and Weston.

On Monday, July 28th at 7 p.m. at Park Place, 20 North 8th Street, Miles City, MT, concerned landowners, sportsmen, livestock producers, hunters and others living in this four-state area are invited to attend a special meeting concerning the Powder River Training Complex. You need to know how this could affect the operation of your ranch, the wildlife, the value of your land and certainly the welfare of your livestock and/or farming operation. It is important that you participate.

It is also imperative that you voice your concerns and comment on this proposed plan by August 4th, either in typed or clearly printed form, and signed by you, the affected party. Mail this to:

Ms. Linda DeVine


129 Andrews Street, Room 317

Langley AFB, VA 23665-2769

Mark Monday, July 28th, Miles City, MT on your calendar for this all important meeting. You need to give your input and have a voice in what could be a disastrous decision by the United States Air Force which will affect your livelihood.

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