On the hunt for willing sellers : the U.S. Army's land acquisition process
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To maintain high levels of proficiency and readiness the U.S. Army trains its soldiers on military bases across the country. However, the Army currently possesses an insufficient amount of land with which to train on, necessitating an expansion of current bases. This paper explores the Army's land acquisition policies, using as case studies the ongoing expansions at Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Polk in Louisiana. Fort Carson, which announced expansion plans in 2006, faced strong opposition and the project has ground to a halt. In early 2009 Fort Polk announced a 100,000-acre expansion. They have utilized a broad public outreach program and promised on numerous occasions not to use eminent domain to acquire privately-held land. As a result, the Polk expansion has proceeded much more smoothly. Using lessons learned from the pair of case studies, this paper then presents a list of best practices the Army can use for future land acquisition projects.