REPI Grant Expands Eglin AFB Buffer. The NWF Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL) reports that Okaloosa County will purchase 961 acres of land that protects Eglin Air Force Base with funding from the REPI Program and Defense Infrastructure grants. “This is another example of where we have worked together with our brothers and sisters at Eglin and what we have is a win-win,” Jeff Littrell, director of water and sewer for the county, said. “If it wasn’t a win-win, we wouldn’t be doing it, and neither would they.”
REPI Protects Lands Outside Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The Messenger-Press (Princeton, NJ) reports that the REPI Program, with the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Program, helped to purchase and preserve open space that falls within the five mile buffer of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The preservation of these lands helps the environment, preserves open space, and protects operations on the base from encroachment.
Avon Park Air Force Range Receives Funding to Protect Buffer Lands. The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) reports that the Avon Park Air Force Range received another grant to protect the public from activities at the Range and to protect the Range from the encroachment of development. Florida State Rep. Ben Albritton said, "...there is going to be growth in Florida for the next 20 years. We know that. If we can get the threat of development encroachment with the range off the table now, it will save problems in the future and protect this important defense installation."
Camp Ripley ACUB Project Wins Award. The Brainerd Dispatch (Brainerd, MN) reports that the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB) at Camp Ripley received the 2014 Lake Friendly Award. The award is in recognition of lake friendly activities by citizens and collaborations of organizations to protect the area’s water resources.
Avon Park Air Force Range Receives Another Grant to Buffer the Installation. The News Chief (Lakeland, FL) reports that Avon Park Air Force Range received another grant to purchase property to buffer the military installation. The Florida Defense Support Task Force has given Polk County $500,000 to purchase land and development rights to prevent incompatible development near the base. This grant supplements a REPI Program project.
Townsend Bombing Range Encroachment Partnering Team and Bob Barnes Win Nancy Natoli Elan Award. The Townsend Bombing Range Encroachment Partnering Team and Bob Barnes won the inaugural Nancy Natoli Élan Award for Innovation in Land Conservation. The Team and Barnes helped to conserve more than 30,000 acres essential for air training exercises.
Defense grant will protect +2,200 acres in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Bay Journal (Chesapeake Bay Region) reports
that the REPI Program awarded $1 million to help protect 2,259 acres of forest,
wetlands, and farmlands along the Nanticoke River in Maryland. Not only do the
lands have a high diversity of plants and animals, but the area is also important
to the Patuxent Naval Air Station because they are part of its Atlantic Test
Range. Protecting the lands from development will reduce noise and safety
concerns in the test range, as well as prevent future restrictions or delays in
training and testing.
Conserving prairies and protecting military training. Ag Weekly (Great Falls, MT) reports that the
Sentinel Landscape pilot project at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) will study
the impacts of managed grazing on native prairie plant communities in western
Washington. The goal of this project is to preserve agricultural lands, while
restoring and protecting more than 2,600 acres of public and private prairies.
At the same time, the project will reduce restrictions to military training
activities on JBLM lands.
Nearly 200 acres of St. Mary’s land preserved. The Gazette (Gaithersburg, MD) reports that three forested properties totaling almost 200 acres were preserved south of Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Each of the three properties is protected by a permanent conservation easement that prohibits development. The Navy, through the REPI Program, contributed to the deal. The goal is to prevent encroachment on the base by protecting lands near the installation and beneath essential airspace where a variety of vital test and training operations occur.
DoD Announces Readiness, Environmental Protection Awards. Defense Department officials today
announced the 2014 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge
award winners, in which 11 finalists competed to help to sustain military
readiness and protect critical test, training, and operational missions. Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland best
demonstrated the spirit of the program to promote innovative land conservation
solutions that benefit military readiness, neighboring communities, and the
environment while helping installations reduce and avoid restrictions. These
projects go above and beyond in providing significant benefit to the military,
the taxpayer, and the environment. “DoD’s ability to conduct realistic live-fire training
and weapons system testing is vital to preparing warfighters and their
equipment for real-world combat,” REPI Program Director Kristin
Thomasgard-Spence said. “There is a direct relationship between realistic
training and success on the battlefield.”
Longleaf Pine Making Comeback in Northwest Florida. The Foster Folly News (Washington County, Florida)
reports that the Longleaf Stewardship Fund is providing grants to local
projects that will help restore native longleaf pine and help protected
wildlife. The announcement was made as part of a five-year anniversary
celebration for America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative held in Washington,
D.C. The grants include two projects in Northwest Florida: one will benefit the
gopher tortoise, protect native wildlife, and support the natural resources and
encroachment protection goals of Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City; and
the other will support the natural resources and encroachment protection goals
of Eglin Air Force Base by expanding potential off-base habitat for protected
species, including the flatwoods salamander.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Southern Company announced $3.38 million in grants to further restore the longleaf
pine ecosystem as part of a five-year anniversary celebration for America’s
Longleaf Restoration Initiative. Fifteen projects across eight states will
receive funding for projects that will ultimately restore more than 11,800
acres and enhance over 116,000 additional acres of longleaf pine habitat, while
leveraging over $3.8 million in additional funds from grant partners. "DoD supports longleaf stewardship because it helps maintain important buffers around our bases and affords us greater flexibility to carry out critical military training. In other words, when we protect and restore longleaf pine forests near our bases, we enhance military readiness," said John Conger, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations & Environment." This year, DoD funds will be leveraged 8 to 1 and result in more than 92,000 acres of restored or enhanced longleaf pine habitat. I appreciate the contributions of the NFWF to this important national security requirement and am happy to partner with them to preserve and restore longleaf pine forests around our bases."