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The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense and the Interior announced a new initiative in 2013 — the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, a nationwide federal, local and private collaboration dedicated to promoting natural resource sustainability in areas surrounding military installations. The Partnership identifies opportunities that benefit national defense, local economies and conservation of natural resources. Where shared interests can be identified within a landscape, the Partnership will coordinate mutually beneficial programs and strategies to preserve, enhance or protect habitat and working lands near military installations; reduce, prevent or eliminate restrictions that inhibit military testing and training; prevent incompatible development near our military facilities.
Sentinel Landscapes are working or natural lands important to the nation’s defense mission — places where preserving the working and rural character of key landscapes strengthens the economies of farms, ranches and forests; conserves habitat and natural resources; and protects vital test and training missions conducted on those military installations that anchor such landscapes.
The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is now accepting applications for designation in 2017. The Request for Applications is open to all eligible entities interested in promoting natural resource conservation and the sustainability of working lands in areas surrounding military installations and ranges. To be considered for a Sentinel Landscape designation in 2017, applications must be submitted via the online portal by 8:00pm EDT on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
Please visit www.SentinelLandscapes.org for more information on the requirements, evaluative criteria, and timeline for 2017 designations as well as the benefits that come along with becoming a Sentinel Landscape.
In conjunction with the opening of the 2017 Application window, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership has released the 2016 Report on the accomplishments of the Partnership to-date. More information on the Partnership’s accomplishments and goals moving forward can be found in the 2016 Report, which is available for download on the Sentinel Landscapes website.
The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership has also updated its website to reflect the information contained in the 2016 Sentinel Landscapes Report. To explore these changes or to learn more about the Partnership and the 2017 Application process, please visit www.SentinelLandscapes.org.
The U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD), Agriculture and the Interior today announced the addition of three military bases to the Sentinel Landscape Partnership, a conservation effort begun in 2013 to improve military readiness, protect at-risk and endangered species, enhance critical wildlife habitat and restore working agricultural and natural lands in the Southeast and Midwest.
Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at Interior; and Pete Potochney, performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment announced the designation of Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida, Camp Ripley, Minnesota and training grounds in Eastern North Carolina as Sentinel Landscapes. Sentinel Landscapes are working or natural lands important to the Nation's defense mission—places where preserving the working and rural character of key landscapes strengthens the economies of farms, ranches, and forests; conserves habitat and natural resources; and protects vital test and training missions conducted on those military installations that anchor such landscapes.
"What makes this announcement so significant is the benefit these partnerships provide to our national security," said Pete Potochney, performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment. "Not only does the collaboration around Avon Park, Camp Ripley, and throughout Eastern North Carolina ensure the continued availability of critical military installations and ranges, but this partnership also preserves working lands that provide food and fiber to our nation, and sustains key natural resources that help to ensure water quality and provide climate change resilience. The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is an innovative initiative that protects critical DoD missions through efficient government and private sector collaboration. This is a true win for warfighters and taxpayers."
Read the full press announcements on the Department of Agriculture website or Department of the Interior website, or the DoD news story available here. For more information on the new designations, download the fact sheets at www.sentinellandscapes.org.