Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center Announces Expansion of ACUB Program. The Hattiesburg American (Hattiesburg, MS) announces that local buffer acquisitions are being used to create a forest carbon project. As part of the acquisition, a portion of high priority acreage adjacent to Camp Shelby will be used to create a forest carbon project, the first project of its kind within the Department of Defense. The local CBS affiliate picked up the story and posted a video on this topic, which includes an interview with Joe Knott.
Successful REPI deal at NAS Lemoore. The Sentinel (Hanford, CA) reports on the NAS Lemoore REPI project, which allows NAS Lemoore to purchase an easement on the project site. The project will not only help the Navy continue its mission at Lemoore, but also protects citizens from the dangers of placing residential development under an existing low-level flight corridor.
City of Niceville Awarded Grant to prevent Development Around Eglin Air Force Base. The City of Niceville, FL received a $25,000 grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force to help prevent future development from impeding missions at nearby Eglin Air Force Base. The city will use the money to upgrade its mapping capability to stave off encroachment problems.
Op-Ed in Support of Buffer Lands to Protect Fort Huachuca. Conchise County, AZ and the City of Sierra Vista agreed to take ownership of more than 400 acres of land that has the potential to secure a long-term future for Fort Huachuca and helps recharge the local aquifer. The Army secured the funds for this transaction, which is "great news for everyone who has a vested interest in the long-term economic security of the region."
New York State Contributes to Fort Drum's Land-Buffer Program. New York State contributed $500,000 to help purchase buffer lands outside Fort Drum. The state money, combined with federal funds, gives the Fort Drum partnership $4.5 million to purchase the development rights on land the Army deems of concern to its operations.
Support to Buffer the Avon Park Bombing Range. The Highlands County, FL commissioners approved a conservation easement program to create a buffer around the Avon Park Bombing Range. Partners include the Central Florida Regional Planning Council and the Range.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Adds to Buffer Zone for Eglin Air Force Base. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection completed a $12.5 million acquisition of a conservation easement on 20,800 acres to buffer Eglin Air Force Base. “Collectively, via the REPI initiative, this partnership recognized the importance of protecting Eglin and its missions and the value of protecting the natural resources within the state of Florida.” This deal represents the culmination of Eglin AFB’s 2013 REPI Challenge-winning project.
Federal agencies announce the Sentinel Landscapes partnership at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior, and the Department of Defense announced the first ever Sentinel Landscape Pilot in the south Puget Sound area of Washington state including Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The Sentinel Landscapes partnership at JBLM, which also was a winner of the 2013 REPI Challenge, is a unique partnership among federal agencies, environmental organizations, and private landowners that will preserve agricultural lands, assist with military readiness, and restore and protect wildlife habitat. Click here to read the press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and articles from the Seattle Times and the Tacoma News Tribune.
2013 REPI Challenge winner Eglin Air Force Base will protect nearly 21,000 acres. The REPI buffer partnership at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida–one of the two winners of the 2013 REPI Challenge–will protect the nearly 21,000-acre Seven Runs Creek parcel. The project will protect the longleaf pine ecosystem and low-level flying airspace for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Eglin AFB. For more information, please read the state's press release and local news coverage.
Through the REPI program, Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton and the Nature Conservancy partnered to protect land vital to the North County corridor, which benefits nearby threatened and endangered species. The preserved natural habitat is a proactive partnership to encourage endangered species recovery, and to protect not only the military mission, but also the land from residential development. To learn more about the efforts at MCB Camp Pendleton, click here to read and watch a video profile from KPBS San Diego.
The Department of Defense announced the selection of the partnerships at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida as the award winners of the 2013 REPI Challenge. Together, the two awards will permanently protect more than 23,500 acres of land adjacent to two important military bases. These lands will also protect critical wildlife habitats and threatened and endangered species, and in turn, will provide the military greater flexibility for training purposes. To learn more about the REPI Challenge and these winning projects, please read the DoD news release or download our fact sheet.
The REPI program was featured in the Los Angeles Times for its success in promoting conservation so that nature and combat training can prosper. The profile highlights partnerships at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Camp Sand Luis Obispo, and others that are creating cherished public sanctuaries. Please click here to read the full story.
As a part of the Forever Florida program, a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and REPI has purchased 1,578 acres for conservation near Camp Blanding, Florida. Camp Blanding is Florida's primer National Guard training. The protected land will enhance the state's biodiversity and wetlands. Click here to read the press release from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
International Paper announced a $7.5 million gift to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to conserve and restore southern forestlands that provide critical habitat for wildlife and jobs for one million workers. Partnership efforts will help restore and improve longleaf pine forests, promote compatible land use around military installations, and provide key habitat areas. Potential opportunities include lands near Folk Polk and in eastern North Carolina. NFWF will leverage these contributions with funding from the Longleaf Stewardship Fund, a public-private partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Defense and many others. This new partnership will support implementation of the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine. Click here to read the press release from NFWF.
A REPI partnership among Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, and others preserves an additional 678 acres. The preserved land will protect the existing flight paths around the air station's Piney Island Bombing Range, as well as contribute to a growing network of protected areas near the Neuse River. For more information, please click here.