FORT POLK, LA (KPLC) - Residents in Vernon and Beauregard parishes as well as the surrounding areas are being urged to sign an online petition in support of Fort Polk.
A recent U.S. Army assessment considers reduction options at a list of U.S. military bases, including Fort Polk.
The study looks at a possible troop reduction of approximately 5,300 soldiers and Army civilians at the sprawling Vernon Parish installation. Not included in that figure are contractors, support personnel and dependents.
The assessment is included in the Department of the Army's Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact for Army force structure reductions and realignments.
The reductions could occur from Fiscal Years 2013-2020.
At least three options are eyed in the assessment. One would grow the post by 1,000 soldiers.
Officials have said that the PEA, where Fort Polk is concerned, contains "false and erroneous information."
"The stakes are simply too high. It would be tragic if the Department of the Army decides to not only reduce the footprint of Fort Polk but put thousands of people out of work based on information that is flat-out wrong," said Leesville Mayor Robert Rose.
Area leaders organized the online petition effort. You can sign the petition HERE.
The deadline for public comment on the Army assessment is March 21. You can find out more about the issue HERE.