The El Paso County Board of Commissioners is asking Gov. Bill Ritter to veto legislation that would prohibit leasing or selling any state-owned land to expand Fort Carson’s Pinon Canyon maneuver site.

“This bill sends a bad message to the Department of Defense and to the brave military personnel serving here around the world,” a letter to Ritter said. “Fort Carson is Colorado’s second largest employer, contributing $1.8 billion to the state economy and here we have a bill on the Governor’s desk which shows a lack of respect for both the mission of Fort Carson to give soldiers the best training possible and its important role in our community. The Governor should veto this misguided legislation targeted directly at Fort Carson.”

Commissioner Amy Lathen said the General Assembly has already taken away private property rights from land owners who are willing to sell or lease their property to the Army.

Commissioners Sallie Clark and Dennis Hisey said the legislation could put Fort Carson in jeopardy during the next round of base realignment and closures.