Below is local and national media coverage for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program. These news stories feature REPI partnerships that serve as an innovative way to address land use and resource challenges that threaten military readiness, while enhancing relationships with communities and preserving the environment.
All stories prior to 2018 are archived by year under "News."
Public Comment Opens on Funding Proposal for Conservation Project near Fort Harrison. MTN News (Helena, MT) reports that the Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT) has partnered with The Conservation Fund and the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program for their Peaks to Creeks conservation project near Fort Harrison. To date, this project has converted 4 miles of land along the Tenmile Creek into a park containing accessible trails and public creek access. Additionally, PPLT has facilitated substantial stream restoration on the Sevenmile Creek.
540 Acres on Hollister Peak Preserved. But Public Access Remains Limited. The San Luis Obispo Tribune (San Luis Obispo, CA) reports that a conservation easement has been placed on a private, 540-acre ranch, Cerro Alto, on the southern slope of Hollister Peak, permanently protecting it from future development. This voluntary effort on the part of the owners was facilitated by the Army Compatible Land Use Buffer Program and the Land Conservancy in an effort to preserve this land. By preventing development on Cerro Alto, the existing livestock operations and wildlife habitat on the property will be preserved.
Harford Settles on Purchase of 32 Acres of Perryman Forest. The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD) reports that with the assistance of Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Harford County, and residents, the Harford Land Trust completed the purchase of a 32-acre parcel in the Perryman Forest. Using funding acquired through the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB), APG was able to enter into a cost-sharing partnership to purchase the parcel. The Harford Land Trust will manage this land to preserve open space in the community, protect the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay, and support APG’s military mission.
NRCS' Healthy Forests Reserve Program Helps Owners Preserve and Manage Tracts. The Brainerd Dispatch (Brainerd, MN) reports that the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape partnership has increased the number of opportunities for working landowners to receive technical or financial assistance through programs such as NRCS’ Healthy Forests Reserve Program. The Healthy Forests Reserve program helps recover threatened and endangered species, improves biodiversity, and enhances carbon sequestration.
Pennsylvania Army National Guard Serves as an Ecological Ally at Fort Indiantown Gap. U.S Army (Arlington, VA) reports that Fort Indiantown Gap’s Natural Resources Conservation (NRC) team participated in the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program to protect its investments and preserve the nearby agriculture, forests, and wetlands of the Kittatinny Ridge. Through ACUB, NRC partnered with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation to acquire 8,500 acres of land for conservation easement and is designing a forest management plan with The Nature Conservancy. The ACUB program is critical to Fort Indiantown Gap’s ability to carry out its mission, as it is the only live fire maneuver military training facility in Pennsylvania and is a critical habitat to numerous plants and wildlife.
522 Acres in Charles County Slated for New Wildlife Management Area. Southern Maryland Online (Annapolis, MD) reports that on February 21, the Board of Public Works unanimously approved a Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 522 acres in Charles County for the development of a new Wildlife Management Area. The acquisition was leveraged with funds from the DoD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI) and will protect ecologically-sensitive habitat such as wetlands and woodlands, while providing an excellent location for recreational activities.
How the Military Helps Protect Natural Landscapes. The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog reports that following its designation as a Sentinel Landscape, Fort Huachuca and its surrounding communities have evolved into an area that supports natural resource sustainability and protects military and testing activities. One issue area that the Sentinel Landscape has focused its attention on is water; Fort Huachuca and its surrounding communities have faced a historical battle with water scarcity. Located in the Arizona dessert, water scarcity has been an ongoing concern for the Fort, with operations requiring groundwater resources to support its infrastructure and employee population. The USDA Forest Service Cooperative Forestry Program helps mitigate this challenge by providing technical assistance and support for wetlands restoration and protected species. With the help of the USDA, and through the framework of the Sentinel Landscape Partnership, the Fort has reduced its groundwater usage by nearly two-thirds. Furthermore, the Sentinel Landscape has taken strides to support working ranches and restore critical habitats surrounding the military installation.
Marines Using Leased Land as Landing Zone through Sentinel Landscape Partnership. The Jacksonville Daily News (Jacksonville, NC) reports that North Carolina Forest Service, the Naval Facilities Command, and the U.S Marine Corps designated 23 acres of land in the Bladen Lakes State Forest as landing zones for the Osprey Aircraft. Bladen Lake State Forest is a working forest, and was awarded this lease after years of collaboration between the state and the Marine Corps. This agreement supports the goals of the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership, a voluntary collaboration between farmers, woodland owners, conservationists, state and federal agencies, and military installations. North Carolina is one of two state that is piloting the Forest Opportunities for Resource Conservation and Environmental Security Program (FORCES), a voluntary program that recognizes and assists woodland owners near military bases who protect their working lands.
Navy, State, and Nonprofits Partner to Conserve Land in Dorchester County. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports that 230 acres of family-owned farmland has recently been protected through a conservation easement using federal funds from the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program, state funds from Maryland’s Rural Legacy Fund, and private funds from the Chesapeake Conservancy. The farm, located in Dorchester County, consists of 135 acres of prime agricultural fields and 85 acres of forest in the Nanticoke River watershed-one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most pristine landscapes and an important habitat for migratory birds. The corridor of protected land is part of the greater Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape, meaning that is not only preserves working and natural lands, but also protects vital test and training missions conducted by the nearby Naval Air Station and Atlantic Test Ranges.
Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Sustains the Forests of the Mississippi Headwaters. The U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forestry and Conservation Blog (Washington, D.C) reports that the USDA Forest Service Forest Stewardships Program has helped over 260 private landowners develop forest management plans in areas surrounding the Camp Ripley military facility. The forest management plans are tailored to the needs of the individual landowners and range from improving tree help to wildlife habitat conservation to generating income. These partnerships fall under the larger Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Partnership designated in July, 2016. Sentinel Landscapes aim to promote natural resource sustainability in areas surrounding military installations.