Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri – August 27, 2014 – For the past several weeks, the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) has been working with local and regional partners in Laclede, Phelps, Pulaski, and Texas Counties to collect comments from the public in response to the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA).
The SPEA analyzes the socioeconomic impact of possible future cuts at Army installations, including Fort Leonard Wood. The Army estimates that Fort Leonard Wood could lose up to 5,400 civilian and military positions by 2020. After losing approximately 1,000 military and 200 civilian positions due to the 2013 Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA), additional losses would have an even greater negative economic impact on the entire region.
The SOP allowed citizens to send emails and letters directly from their website to the U.S. Army Environmental Command. The SOP also provided a letter that citizens could download and mail or email directly to the Army. In addition, the SOP set up a petition on an external website. Citizens digitally signed the petition and left comments. All signatures and comments from the petition were sent directly to the Army.
The SOP calculated that 4,134 citizens submitted letters, emails, and signed the petition by the August 25 deadline. Those citizens submitted 2,255 letters and 1,879 citizens signed the petition. These numbers do not take into account the emails and letters that were sent directly to the Army by individuals.
The response to this year’s public comment period was almost double what our region’s response was to the 2013 PEA, in which the region submitted approximately 2,200 responses.
The SOP will continue to monitor the results from the public comment period and provide future updates to our region regarding official response numbers as they become available.
The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) is building on the Fort Leonard Wood region’s strong past and preparing the region for a healthy, resilient future. We are a nonprofit organization working to bring all of the region’s stakeholders to the table to drive regional development and advocate for new or expanded military and federal missions. We are strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region.