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Know the West

Missile chaos

  In a 4-inch-thick draft environmental impact statement, the U.S. Army recently concluded that its missile test flights to the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico could have significant land-use impacts. Launched from either Green River, Utah, or Fort Wingate, N.M., the missiles would fly over Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and New Mexico's El Malpais National Monument (HCN, 4/19/93). After take-off, each missile would drop a 1,100-pound booster in one of four "drop-zones." The Army proposes two zones directly north and east of Canyonlands, one over part of the Ramah Navajo Reservation and one over El Malpais National Monument. During testing, the Army would ban all planes from the missile path, close I-70 for 70 minutes, and evacuate the national parks and monuments along the flight path for at least 12 hours. The Army will accept public comments on the plan until March 28, 1994. For a copy of the Theater Missile Defense Extended Test Range draft EIS, or to comment, write David Hasley, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command, attn: CSSD-EN-V, P.O. Box 1500, Huntsville, AL 35807-3801, or call Ed Vaughn at 205/955-3887.