Publisher: University of Nevada Press
In 1982 Ronald Reagan initiated the largest military buildup ever seen during peacetime. While the buildup focused on new weapons and increases in force structure, it also involved more intense use of existing ranges and greater demand for new land and airspace. Most of the land acquisition occurred in the West. In Idaho the U.S. Air Force requested 1.3 million acres to expand existing bombing ranges. The National Guard sought a 1-million-acre tank-training range in Montana. The U.S. Army proposed to expand the Fort Irwin tank range in California by 250,000 acres. But nowhere has the military's hunger for land created more concern than in Nevada. Proposals for use of Nevada's most plentiful resource include a 600,000-acre tank-training range and a 500,000-acre expansion of navy bombing ranges. The unrestrained procurement of public lands by the armed forces has caused considerable controversy among Nevadans and has raised public demand for active involvement in the planning process for military ranges. In Combat Zoning, David Loomis provides an objective analysis of the withdrawal of public lands for military use by all of the armed services. The primary theme that emerges from this study is that a lack of citizen participation in the development of military land-use plans is a weakness in the planning process for these lands. Loomis argues that public lands are the common legacy of all citizens; consequently, their participation in decisions affecting those lands is a right, not a privilege, even when national security is at stake. Military planners should seek out and welcome that participation. Combat Zoning provides the general public and land-use planners with a clear picture ofmilitary planning and how it has affected one western state. It applies lessons learned about participatory democracy at other levels of government and society to the military's long-standing reliance on technological procedures.