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Historic Lompoc Valley Farm Protected.
KEYT NewsChannel 3 (Santa Barbara, CA) reports that a 780-acre property next to Vandenberg Air Force Base is now permanently protected, due to the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement. The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and the Trust for Public Land purchased the easement through matching funds from DoD's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program with funds from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, as allowed under REPI statute. This topic also appeared in stories in the
(Santa Barbara, CA) and
(Santa Barbara, CA).
Groups Work to Preserve Habitat in Lakeside.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (San Diego, CA) reports that a 410-acre swath of land in Lakeside, CA will be preserved as open space, thanks to contributions from the REPI Program and San Diego Association of Governments. The purchase will not only protect sensitive habitat for the threatened California gnatcatcher, but also prevent development from impacting the military mission of MCAS Miramar. This topic also appeared in stories in the
San Diego Source
San Diego Business Journal
ABC 10 News
Mutual Benefit: Preserving Arizona's Military Mission and the Value of Publicly-Owned Lands.
The Sonoran Institute (Tucson, AZ) released a report called, "Mutual Benefit: Preserving Arizona's Military Mission and the Value of Publicly-Owned Lands." The report highlights the REPI Program's award to Fort Huachuca, stating that the "award totaled $4 million and protected almost 6,000 acres of grassland and 160,000 annual air operations. Moreover, the REPI award recognized the preservation of 800 square miles of airspace from electromagnetic encroachment and prevented up to 1,400 new wells from being drilled in the area surrounding Fort Huachuca.”
Acre Acquisition in Florida.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Tallahassee, FL) announced that 165 acres will be protected outside of Whiting Field Naval Air Station in Santa Rosa County. The purchase of these acres will protect the Station from encroachment caused by new development, as well as augment a wildlife corridor and expand recreational opportunities.
Naval Shipyard Portsmouth Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) School Wins REPI Award.
The Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME) reported that $2 million will be used to restrict development of nearly 10,000 acres around Naval Shipyard Portsmouth SERE School. The funding will support military readiness through conservation efforts around the school.
Conservation Challenge Winners Protect Military Base Environments
DoD News reported that military installations and their partners in three states won the REPI Challenge, which DoD created to protect critical military test, training and operational missions while supporting nearby ecosystems. For the winning REPI Challenge projects, $6.2 million in program funds leverage more than $21 million in partner funding to protect 28,050 acres at military installations in three states: Georgia (Fort Benning and Fort Stewart), Nevada (Naval Air Station Fallon), and Maine (Naval Shipyard Portsmouth Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape School).
NAS Whiting Field acquires more land for buffering.
The Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, FL) reports that Naval Air Station Whiting Field purchased 335 acres of easements near the installation to create additional buffers around the base. Buffering prevents new development that can impact flight tracks, noise corridors, accident zones, and other military-related engagements on base. Whiting partnered with the REPI Program, the Nature Conservancy, and Santa Rosa County to purchase the easements.
Sentinel Landscapes Program Aims to Shield Camp Ripley from Sprawl
The Brainerd Dispatch (Brainerd, MN) reports that Minnesota is the first state in the nation to implement its own version of a federal program designed to protect military bases from encroaching development. The new law stands up a Sentinel Landscape Coordinating Committee around Camp Ripley comprised of local counties, stakeholders, the installation, and state agencies. It will identify the borders of the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape and financial incentives for nearby landowners to voluntarily limit development.
Managing growth around a growing Buckley Air Force Base.
The Aurora Sentinel (Aurora, CO) reports that a REPI proposal to protect land around Buckley AFB has received initial approval. The project aims to thwart incompatible development adjacent to the base by transferring ownership of federally owned and private land to the city of Aurora. The city would then turn much of the newly acquired land into greenway and open space. The project is designed to both improve the long-term viability of the base and provide resource protection by expanding bike trails and pedestrian paths surrounding the base.
New York contributes $500,000 to Fort Drum land buffer program.
The Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY) reports that New York State will contribute $500,000 to a buffer program at Fort Drum that limits impacts on the installation's training from outside encroachment. This latest contribution is in support of a joint REPI and ACUB project to buy permanent development rights on properties near Fort Drum.
Louisiana receives conservation funding for rare snake and Fort Polk.
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA) reports that the rare Louisiana pine snake and Fort Polk are the beneficiaries of a new conservation project, which will purchase 6,300 acres of land near Fort Polk in an effort to provide habitat for the Louisiana pine snake. If the snake is listed under the Endangered Species Act, training exercises on the military base could be seriously hampered. Fort Polk is trying to get ahead of this by preserving the snake's habitat outside the installation.
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