Kirtland Air Force Base's request to renew a decades-old agreement that allows military training in portions of a national forest in central New Mexico is stirring controversy.
Kirtland has had an agreement since 1977 to use parts of the Cibola National Forest for training. That training includes establishment of helicopter landing zones, high-altitude training for aircraft and remote deployment of ground teams.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that some conservation groups and at least one private landowner call the military activity noisy and harmful to wildlife habitat. They suggest that the training be conducted on military installations such as Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range.
Military officials say units already use those facilities and that the forest land provides more realistic locations for some types of training.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal.
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