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REPI in the News

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 2019 are archived by year under "News."

December 2019

Prickly Pear Land Trust, National Guard Receive Award for Work near Fort Harrison.  The Independent Record (Helena, MT) reports that the Prickly Pear Land Trust and Montana National Guard received the Army Community Partnership Award for their work on public access and open land near Fort Harrison.  The land trust and the Guard partnered to protect land around the Tenmile and Sevenmile Creeks to preserve open space, expand public access to the creeks, and limit development around Fort Harrison.  The partnership was able to leverage funding from the REPI Program for the development of the Tenmile Creek Park.

Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape Restoration Project Continues to Make Strides.  Herald Review (Sierra Vista, AZ) reports on the success of the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape.  Designated by the Department of Defense in 2015, this landscape has focused their efforts on mitigating wildfires, improving habitat, and protecting water quality and supply for surrounding communities.  Fort Huachuca has permanently protected 13,857 acres under the R2303 Military Airspace using funding from the REPI Program; installed 30 miles of wildlife-friendly fencing through the 2014 Farm Bill; and permanently protected 8.7 acres of wetlands, 478 acres of upland, and one mile of stream habitat that will benefit the Chiricahua Leopard Frog, northern Mexican garter snake, Sonoran tiger salamander, Gila topminnow, and the Huachuca water umbel.

North Florida Land Trust Makes Huge Investment in Clay.  Clay Today (Camp Blanding, Florida) reports that the North Florida Land Trust has acquired a 463-acre plot and 20 acres that extend the Trail Ridge Preserve within the critical Ocala to Osceola wildlife corridor surrounding Camp Blanding.  The acquisition of this land helps to buffer Camp Blanding and provides habitat for imperiled wildlife species such as the gopher tortoise, sandhill crane, and wood stork, and other species such as the wild turkey, southern fox squirrel, and eastern indigo snake.  This project was made possible through a partnership between the Clay County Development Authority and the Army National Guard as part of the REPI program.

November 2019

Pax River, ATR REPI Program Tops 10k Acres.  The Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester (Easton, MD) reports that Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Atlantic Test Ranges have protected 11,144 acres within the since 2010 through the REPI Program.  These protected are also located within the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape.  Through local partnerships, the REPI program has preserved 56 parcels beneath the Navy airspace since 2010.  In fiscal year 2019, easements were placed on 15 properties to preserve a total of 2,514 acres beneath Navy airspace in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.

Protecting U.S. Bases Increasingly Requires Hardening Civilian Infrastructure.  Defense One (Washington, DC) reports that the 2019 REPI Challenge project at Naval Station King’s Bay in Georgia is a prime example of the Department of Defense prioritizing resilience efforts at military installations and in the surrounding community.  This project utilizes a partnership between the Department of Defense, the State of Georgia, and private partners to protect the Georgia coastline from storm surge.

October 2019

Joel Dunn: Let’s Celebrate the Expansion of Quiet Waters Park.  The Capital Gazette (Annapolis, MD) reports that a 19-acre parcel adjacent to Quiet Waters Park has been integrated into the rest of the park through a purchase made possible by a partnership between the REPI Program, Program Open Space, Anne Arundel County, and the Chesapeake Conservancy.  This expansion increases recreational opportunities within the park and protects the natural habitat for osprey, box turtles, and foxes.

Wolfe Creek’s 1,272-Acre Donation Benefit Forest, Base.  Crestview News Bulletin (Milton, FL) reports that 1,272 acres within the Wolfe Creek Forest Florida Forever Project was bought by The Trust for Public Land in partnership with Naval Air Station Whiting Field and added to the Blackwater River State Forest.  The protection of this land will prevent land use conflicts with Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s helicopter training missions, help restore longleaf pines, and increase public recreation opportunities.  The funding for this acquisition came from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program and the REPI program.

September 2019

Groups Create Land Conservation Agreement near Camp Navajo.  Williams News (Williams, AZ) reports that a partnership between Camp Navajo, the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program, the Arizona National Guard, the Army National Guard, Coconino County, and the Central Arizona Land Trust has succeeded in establishing the first of two conservation easements about 10 miles southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona.  These easements will guarantee permanent conservation of land that is currently compatible with the Camp Navajo mission and important to local species such as the pronghorn antelope and elk.

August 2019

Landguth: Partnering Proves Beneficial to All.  Black Hills Business (Rapid City, SD) reports that the Ellsworth Development Authority is working with the Department of Defense’s REPI Program to ensure safety for those living and working around Ellsworth Air Force Base.  By working with property owners, ranchers and community leaders, the partnership between Ellsworth Air Force Base and the Ellsworth Development Authority has ensured that the land surrounding the base is now 99% compatible with Air Force guidelines.

Ed and Marian Fry Place 191 Acres of Farmland in Easement.  Kent County News (Chestertown, MD) reports that Ed and Marian Fry of Fair Hill Farm have protected an additional 191 acres of agricultural land in partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program.  The Fry family has now protected over 750 acres on three conservation easements in Kent County.  This is the 296th conservation easement established by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

July 2019

Conservation Easement Protects the “Wonder” of Prairiewood Retreat and Preserve.  The Collegian (Manhattan, KS) reports that 186 acres of native tallgrass prairie will be protected within Prairiewood Retreat and Preserve in Manhattan, KS.  A collaborative effort between the Kansas Land Trust, Fort Riley, and the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program will fund the acquisition of a conservation easement protecting the land from development.  Prairiewood was founded in 2010 and functions as a prairie preserve and small-scale resort, open once per month to the public for hiking.

State Adds 2,224 Acres to Buckridge Reserve.  Coastal Review Online (Newport, NC) reports that the U.S. Air Force, The Nature Conservancy, and North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management have partnered to purchase a 2,224-acre property to add to the Buckridge Reserve containing habitat for threatened and endangered species including bald eagle, Atlantic sturgeon, shortnose sturgeon, red-cockaded woodpecker and American Alligator.  The acquired acres protect more than 10 miles of the Alligator River thus maintaining the current water quality of the river and the Albemarle-Pamlico estuary.  Air Force funding was through the REPI program to secure the operational airspace of the Dare County Range.

Local Partners Successfully Complete Land Conservation Adjacent to Camp Navajo, Coconino County.  Signals (Prescott Valley, AZ) reports that the Central Arizona Land Trust (CALT) has established the first of two conservation easements which will conserve 240 acres in Coconino County, 10 miles southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona.  These acres will guarantee the permanent protection of a wildlife corridor used by elk, pronghorn antelope, and other large mammals.  For this project, CALT has partnered with Camp Navajo and the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program to ensure compatible use of the land surrounding the installation so it can effectively carry out its mission.  The protected land will still provide opportunities for recreational activities for the surrounding community such as hiking, environmental education, and biking.

June 2019

Navy and Echo Farm Reach $4.7 Million Easement Agreement.  My Columbia Basin (Pendleton, OR) reports that the U.S. Navy, Trust for Public Land, and Northwest Rangeland, in collaboration with Madison Ranches of Echo are planning to establish a 3,300-acre restrictive-use easement benefiting agricultural lands, preserving water rights, and protecting military flight paths.  As a part of the Department of Defense’s REPI Program, this agreement is designed to promote conservation and the compatible use of the land surrounding Naval Weapons System Training Facility Boardman.

NC Coastal Land Trust Preserved 5,400 Acres.  The Coastal Review Online (Newport, NC) reports that the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust has transferred 5,170 acres of a 5,400-acre tract of land to the Wildlife Resources Commission to be used as public game lands.  The Department of Defense’s REPI program has provided funds to contribute to the acquisition of the restrictive easement, which is across from the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s Piney Island Bombing Range.  The remaining acres will be managed as a nature preserve by the Coastal Land Trust.  This land has been designated as an Important Bird Area by The National Audubon Society and contains habitat for the Black Rail, a small marsh bird proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Delaware Announced Largest Round of Farms Preserved in State History.  Delaware.gov (Dover, DE) reports that with the recent purchase of 111 farms totaling 9,382 acres, 25% of Delaware’s farmland, equaling about 134,000 acres, is now preserved.  The preservation of these lands was possible through partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, the REPI Program, Sussex County Council, New Castle County Council, and Kent County Levy Court.

May 2019

Cannon Part of Historic Land Protection Effort.  The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (Cannon Air Force Base, NM) reports that Cannon Air Force Base has partnered with the Conservation Fund, and the Department of Defense as part of the REPI Program to place a conservation easement limiting development adjacent to Melrose Air Force Range (MAFR).  This accomplishment is the largest single transaction in the history of the REPI program and protects the operations of MAFR and the 27th Special Operations Wing.  This restrictive-use easement has been placed on a privately-owned ranch and will be managed by the New Mexico Land Conservancy limiting potential for light pollution and protecting the vulnerable lesser prairie-chicken.

April 2019

National, State, and Local Leaders Gather to Explore Chattahoochee Valley Conservation Efforts.  WRBL (Columbus, GA) reports that Fort Benning is leading the Chattahoochee River Valley conservation efforts by organizing prescribed burns on Army Compatible Use Buffer properties.  These prescribed burns help maintain healthy habitats for local wildlife such as the gopher tortoise and the eastern indigo snake and lead to less wildfires, benefiting the conservation goals and installation missions.

Partnership Conserved Farmland in Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area.  Augusta Free Press (Augusta County, VA) reports that a conservation easement has been placed on a 233-acre property in the Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area, near the Navy Atlantic Test Range, prohibiting development.  This area contains a diversity of wildlife, wetlands, and farmlands and is situated below Navy airspace.  The Maryland Rural Legacy Program and Maryland Department of Natural Resources partnered with the Department of Defense’s REPI Program, the Nature Conservancy, and the Conservation Fund to make this effort possible.

March 2019

Governor Signs $1.845 Million for Ellsworth Projects.  The Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, SD) reports that Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill on March 21 that will provide state funding to help the Ellsworth Development Authority protect Ellsworth Air Force Base from surrounding incompatible development.  These state funds contribute to the funding provided by the REPI program, which allows the authority to buy land in the Accident Potential Zones around the installation and establish easements to prevent future incompatible development and preserve the base’s mission.

February 2019

North Florida Land Trust Marks Record Conservation Year.  The Florida Times Union (Jacksonville, FL) reports that the North Florida Land Trust has had a record year, preserving more than 6,100 acres in 2018.  A portion of these lands have been conserved via a partnership with the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program and the Florida National Guard which operate Camp Blanding.  Camp Blanding is located within the Ocala to Osceola wildlife corridor, which contains essential wetlands and habitat for many endangered species including the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake, and gopher tortoise.

Partnership to Protect 400 Acres along Shores of Hood Canal.  The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (Olympia, WA) reports that 400 acres along the Hood Canal are to be protected.  This land has been protected through a partnership between the Trust for Public Land, Great Peninsula Conservancy, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Navy with funding from the REPI program.  By protecting this land the Navy can ensure that vital submarine testing and training at Naval Base Kitsap can continue.

January 2019

Fort Indiantown Gap Finishes No. 1 in Nation for 2018.  The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (Fort Indiantown Gap, PA) reports that Fort Indiantown Gap finished first out of 48 National Guard training centers in both the continental United States and Puerto Rico wit the most training mandays for fiscal year 2018.  Listed among the installation's main achievements for the year is the creation of a large conservation easement through the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program.  In 2018 Fort Indiantown Gap completed one of the largest conservation actions in the northeast using ACUB funding, which contributed to their winning of the 2018 Secretary of the Army Natural Resources Conservation Team Award.