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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.

Click above to view stories from different years.

December 2021

DoD Funding for Farming Easements.  Farm Progress (Irving, TX) reports that urban sprawl and encroachment are common threats for farmers and the military.  The REPI program provides funding for conservation projects on compatible lands, such as working farms or forests, in proximity to military installations.  This allows the military to continue their operations and often protects agricultural and forest lands from development.

Wood & McClellan Trust property conserved next to Camp Williams.  The Conservation Fund (Arlington, VA) reports that the organization has acquired a 244-acre conservation easement on the Wood & McClellan Trust property in Utah in support of the Camp Williams REPI project.  The project was completed using a combination of REPI, Army National Guard, and state funds.  The Conservation Fund plans to transfer the conservation easement via donation to a local organization for long-term monitoring.

The property, which will remain in private ownership, borders the southern fence line of Camp Williams and is adjacent to a newly established small arms firing area and range.  It is used for agriculture and includes natural lands that contain a portion of a mule deer migration corridor.  The conservation easement will preserve the natural and working lands and prevent development that may be incompatible with Camp Williams’s training mission.

Environmental deconfliction 2021: The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021.  The Environmental Law Institute (Washington, DC) reports that the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act included a variety of provisions setting U.S. Department of Defense priorities for energy, environmental, and natural resource issues, including two changes relating to the REPI program.  These changes include allowing resilience to be used as a standalone statutory authority for the use of REPI funding and the opportunity for REPI funds to satisfy the cost-sharing requirement for any federal conservation or resilience program.

1,000 Acres of Farmland Near Toston Now a Conservation Easement.  Independent Record (Helena, MT) reports that over 1,000 acres and 1.6 miles of Missouri River Shoreline have been protected via conservation easements by a partnership between the Prickly Pear Land Trust, Montana Army National Guard and the Department of Defense.  This conservation easement will protect these areas from development contributing to the Fort Harrison REPI project efforts and contributing to the local outdoor economy.

November 2021

DoD Efforts Showcased in Climate Adaptation Companion Document.  Defense Department News (Washington, DC) reports that the DoD released a companion document to the Climate Adaptation Plan summarizing how the DoD has been working to address climate change over the past decade. This companion document to the DoD Climate Adaptation Plan showcases a selection of these projects. This summary includes current projects, some of which are part of the REPI program, and an outline of the five Line of Efforts the DoD is taking towards climate change adaptation and resilience.

NFWF and NOAA Announce $39.5 million in Conservation Grants to Fund Coastal Resilience Projects Across the Nation.  WBIW (Bedford, IN) reports that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and NOAA announced almost $40 million in new grant funding from the National Coastal Resilience Fund.  This funding will be used in partnership with NFWF, NOAA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the REPI program, and other private companies to support coastal resilience projects in U.S. states and territories.

First step towards total conservation, 15,000 acres of Wind Wolves Preserve permanently protected.  KGET (Kern County, CA) reports that the California Rangeland Trust, in partnership with Wildlands Conservancy announced the permanent protection of land within the Wind Wolves Preserve.  Wind Wolves Preserve is the largest wildlife preserve on the west coast and includes land from the Transverse Ranges, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert, and San Joaquin Valley.  This conservation project was funded, in part, through the REPI program.

Pax River Wins NDW Region Installation Excellence Award.  Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester (St. Mary’s County, MD) reports that Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River has been named the Naval District Washington Regional winner of the Installation Excellence Award – Large Shore category.  Some of the activities that earned NAS Patuxent River its award was its involvement with the REPI program and the DoD’s Defense Community Infrastructure Program. 

Southern Maryland RC&D adds 236 acres of Conservation Land in Southern St. Mary's.  Southern Maryland News (St. Mary’s County, MD) reports that the Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development announced that it added two parcels to its protected forested property.  The easements were funded by Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program, St. Mary’s County’s Land Preservation Program, and the REPI program.  The property that was acquired is directly south of Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

October 2021

TNC and Partners Conserve Connected Corridor of Protected Lands and Waters in South Central FloridaThe Nature Conservancy (Arlington, VA) reports that the Avon Park Sentinel Landscape partners have protected the 1,069-acre Ravensworth Farms, a working cattle ranch in Highlands County, Florida.  Working with the willing landowners, the Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and The Nature Conservancy funded the $2.99 million purchase of a conservation easement which maintains the historical agricultural property in its current state while preventing development that could impact mission capabilities at the nearby Avon Park Air Force Range.  Additionally, by retaining the natural state of the ranch, this project also preserves the water quality of the surrounding marshlands and longleaf pine habitats for local wildlife such as the Gopher Tortoise.

Delmarva-Based Conservation Partnership Award $1.5 Million Grant.  Dorchester Star (Cambridge, MD) reports that to support phase one of the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape Resilience project, the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant was awarded to the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) and its partners.  Partners of ESLC include The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The first phase of the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape Resilience project will protect habitats for the movement of wildlife species in the region.  The NAWCA grant is combined with $3 million in funding from the 2020 REPI Challenge which was granted to a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Navy to increase coastal resilience, including protection of marsh migration zones within the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape.

Farmland Protected Near Fort A.P. Hill Supports Military Readiness.  The Conservation Fund (Caroline County, VA) reports that Gouldin Farm, a 373-acre area that was identified as a top priority by the U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill Army Compatible Use Buffer program, has been formally protected.  This easement allows The Conservation Fund and Virginia Outdoors Foundation to partner with Fort A.P. Hill to limit development in the area, which lines the Virginia Railroad Express.  By limiting development, the military is able to continue ongoing training operations and the Gouldin Farm will remain operational and in private ownership.

Congaree Land Trust Announces Conservation of Over 655 Acres.  The Congaree Land Trust (Columbia, SC) reports that a partnership with The Conservation Fund, the Congaree Land Trust, and the Department of Defense successfully protected farmland adjacent to Fort Jackson and Shaw Air Force Base.  REPI funding was used in association with the Midlands Area Joint Installation Consortium to promote the compatible use of land, air, and water resources in the Midlands while supporting military training missions.

With New Plan, Pentagon Embraces Climate Change Fight.  Breaking Defense (Washington, DC) reports that a new DoD strategy calls for all military services and related organizations to make changes to reduce potential risks from climate change.  This strategy lays out five paths of impact and how they can be incorporated.  The Deputy Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy also included that programs such as the REPI program will likely receive greater attention moving forward as a tool to achieve goals set by the strategy.

Burlington County Commissioners Approve Preservation of Four Farms Totaling 256 Acres.  The Trentonian (Mount Holly, NJ) reports that The Burlington County Commissioners approved four new properties to be permanently preserved into the County’s Farmland Preservation Program.  This program preserves farmland to remain permanent working lands and prevents development on the farms which also helps the adjacent Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst continue critical mission training.  DoD funding is being used to cover about half of the conservation costs for two of the farms which border the Joint Base.  

September 2021

Marines, Wildlife Service Work to Save Gnatcatcher.  The Coast News Group (San Diego, CA) reports that REPI program funds will be used for a conservation and land management project to support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to preserve the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher.  These efforts are a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  The project allows the Marine Corps more flexibility in meeting mission-essential training requirements while conserving land for the coastal California gnatcatcher. 

Multiple Partner Make Possible Valuable Land Purchase in Camden County.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (Woodbine, GA) reports that a total of 27,000 acres in southeast Georgia will provide a critical buffer to the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in addition to protecting the Cumberland Island National Seashore.  Out of the total, 3,000 acres were protected by a conservation easement established by a partnership between the state of Georgia, the REPI program, and many others.  This project will expand fire-management for the longleaf pine ecosystem which is home to multiple imperiled and federally listed species, provide access to recreation, and protect military capabilities at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

State Safeguarding Native Birds, Plants in Honopu Watershed.  The Garden Island (Kauai, HI) reports that $1.2 million in REPI funding along with $500,000 from the State of Hawaii is being used to protect native flora and fauna within the Honopu Watershed from invasive species.  This project will install 240 yards of fencing to protect endangered, native species from being overgrazed. 

August 2021

Naval Air Station Whiting Field Program Secures Easements.  Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette (Milton, FL) reports that Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field recently partnered with the DoD, the State of Florida, and Santa Rosa County to secure easements of 4,000 acres adjacent to NAS Whiting Field and the new Navy Outlying Landing Field.  Over $3.5 million in REPI funds were combined with $790,000 in Santa Rosa County funding, and over $3 million in state-acquired forest legacy funds to secure the easements.  These protected areas will act as a buffer to avoid incompatible development which may otherwise lead to safety concerns, noise complaints, or disruption to military capabilities at the installations.

Blackwater River State Forest Adds Nearly 3,500 Acres of Land to Buffer NAS Whiting Field.  Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, FL) reports that The Trust for Public Land partnered with DoD, the Florida Forest Service, the Santa Rosa County Commission, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to acquire about 3,500 acres of land to add to the Blackwater River State Forest.  The $9.2 million land acquisition will protect critical longleaf pine habitat and prevent incompatible land development around Naval Air Station Whiting Field, which is adjacent to the forest.

Mitigation Plans Could Escalate Dramatically for Pike National Forest.  The Mountain Jackpot News (Teller County, CO) reports that Teller County Commissioners are working to establish a project using REPI program and Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments funding to protect up to 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest.  The threat of wildfires in the forest is a concern for both the U.S. Forest Service and the DoD due to the effect on nearby communities and military installations such as the U.S. Air Force Academy and Fort Carson. 

UGA Joins Partnership to Spur Compatible Economic Development Around Fort Benning.  UGA Today (Athens, GA) reports that the University of Georgia is partnering with the River Valley Regional Commission, the Nature Conservancy, and the Army to help create recreational areas along the 35,000 acres surrounding Fort Benning.

North Florida Land Trust Adds 119 Acres in Bradford County to Protect Environment, Camp Blanding.  Florida Daily (FL) reports that the North Florida Land Trust announced the establishment of a 119-acre conservation easement near Camp Blanding.  The property, a working cattle ranch, will be conserved as part of Camp Blanding's ongoing REPI project.  The conservation easement will allow the landowners to continue their ranching while providing a buffer for the nearby military installation. 

July 2021

REPI Challenge Yields More Than $24M for AF Installations.  Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs (Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, TX) reports that the Air Force Civil Engineer Center helped secure over $24 million in funding to enhance resilience and military readiness at White Sands Missile Range, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (AFB), and Tyndall AFB.  The three installations were awarded the funding through the annual REPI Challenge.  Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Tyndall AFB will be using the funds to improve the installation's resilience to climate change-related impacts through building up to 1,000 feet of living shorelines, 3,500 feet of submerged shoreline, and the project will create 1,500 feet of oyster reef habitat to enhance the shoreline along Tyndall AFB’s drone runway.

June 2021

Multi-Agency Land Deal Preserves 41 Acres in Western Sussex. Delaware Public Media (Dover, DE) reports that that the REPI program partnered with the Chesapeake Conservancy, Sussex County Land Trust, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, and other organizations to turn a former mobile home park into a recreational area along the Nanticoke River.  This 41-acre park includes 1,900 feet of natural shoreline and native plants and wildlife that will be protected through the project.  The REPI program provided a large portion of the funding for this project, adding to the $17 million that DoD has spent in recent years to aid the conservation of land along the Nanticoke River and preserve areas under nearby test mission air space.

Georgia Gov. Kemp Honors CatchMark's Forest Stewardship. Yahoo! Finance (Atlanta, GA) reports that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp honored CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. for their role in Georgia’s Forestry for Wildlife Partnership.  This partnership, a program ran by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, is designed to encourage the conservation of wildlife on private land.  Among CatchMark’s initiatives is to with with the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust to maintain an easement to protect high priority habitat protection adjacent to Fort Stewart, within the Georgia Sentinel Landscape.

New Easement Program Available for Landowners in Eastern Morrison County. The Morrison County Record (Morrison County, MN) reports that the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District (MCSWCD) is seeing interest in the new Reinvest in Minnesota Easement Program.  During the Morrison County Board of Commissioners meeting, members of the MCSWCD attributed the expansion in easement programs to the success of Camp Ripley’s Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program and the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape.  Camp Ripley’s encroachment management and conservation efforts demonstrate the benefits of protecting working lands and preserving the watershed. 

How the Marine Corps Struck Gold in a Trash Heap as Part of the Pentagon's Fight Against Climate Change. Inside Climate News (Brooklyn, NY) reports that the Department of Defense has been greatly increasing its attention and efforts on climate change impacts.  Along with the DoD’s Climate Assessment Tool, the REPI program is one of the ways that the DoD is addressing climate change resiliency and green infrastructure at its installations.

May 2021

Military and Environmentalists Align to Protect Key Coastal Salt Marsh.  E&E News (Washington, DC) reports that a conservation project, overseen by the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability, is working to protect over one million acres of salt marsh along the southeast coast to protect inland property.  This region, including multiple military installations, are being threatened by flooding, storm surge, and erosion because of rising sea levels and intensifying coastal storms.  This conservation plan was supported by a collection of conservation organizations and hunting and fishing advocates as “a first line of defense” for local coastal communities and military installations.

Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape study aims to identify, locate culturally significant sites.  Morrison County Record (Little Falls, MN) reports that Sylvan Township awarded a contract to start the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Cultural Literature Review and Report.  This project is designed to gather information and attitudes surrounding the cultural elements of the sentinel landscape to better understand and protect the sites. 

April 2021

5-Mile Fire Break Protects Manchester's Roosevelt City From Fires.  The Patch (Manchester, NJ) reports that $380,000 of REPI funding will be used to assist the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Ocean County to mitigate the risk of forest fires, increase storm surge resistance, and increase storm water capacity improving the region’s resilience to climate change.  The fire break being built as part of this plan will also reduce the likelihood of damage from forest fires at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Deputy Secretary of Defense visits Vienna.  Dorchester Star (Vienna, MD) reports that Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks visited Vienna, Maryland, this Earth Day to tour the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape.  The event highlighted the actions the sentinel landscape is taking to maintain the quality of the military training capabilities in the area while protecting the environmental assets and growing relationships with communities. 

Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Wins 2021 SECNAV Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation.  WY Daily (Yorktown, VA) reports that Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Yorktown was awarded the 2021 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation.  Over the past few years, NWS Yorktown has been dedicated to enhancing its commitment to natural resources management.  DoD has supported this commitment by contributing $1.1 million in REPI funding which was used to restore 900 feet of shoreline and 3.45 acres of Navy land in addition to preparing an intensive Wildfire Management Plan.

The Living Shoreline at Cherry Point. The U.S. Marine Corps is working with local agencies in North Carolina to construct a living shoreline at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point. This project is estimated to be completed by early 2022. MCICOM exercises command and control of Marine Corps installations via regional commanders in order to provide oversight, direction and coordination of installation services and to optimize support to the Operating Forces, tenants and activities.

Natural Resources Conservation Efforts Receive Top Honor.  Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield (Fort Stewart, GA) reports that the Fort-Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield received the 2020 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation for a Large Installation.  The installation recently added 17,003 acres under the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program which results in 94,597 total acres protected.  Fort Stewart’s diverse environment provides unrivaled training opportunities which ACUB protects through preventing encroachment from incompatible development nearby which may impede training capabilities.  The installation has management prescriptions for all 120 of their training areas, including prescribed burns to reduce wildfire risks and improve forest ecosystem health. 

Climate Change in Florida is a Threat to National Security.  South Florida Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) reports that eight Florida bases were on the 2019 Department of Defense list of bases most threatened by climate change.  Florida’s coastal bases have already began seeing increased flooding and large infrastructure damage due to hurricanes.  The report highlights the benefits of using programs like REPI to mitigate the risk faced by climate change at military installations. 

Arizona Land and Water Trust Preserves Over 1,000 Acres of the Rose Tree Ranch in Santa Cruz County.  KOLD News 13 (Tucson, AZ) reports that the Arizona Land and Water Trust has added 1,150 acres of the Rose Tree Ranch to the protected land network in the Sonoita-Elgin area.  Along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, critical funding for this conservation easement was provided by the REPI program.  The easement helps preserve agriculturally productive lands in the Santa Cruz area, and protects native wildlife species such as ocelots and jaguars.

March 2021

Working-Lands Pilot Targets Grazing Lands.  The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources reports that the they have approved a new pilot program designed to incentivize landowners to protect grasslands vital to habitat and water quality.  The program allows for landowners to generate income off their property while protecting and improving natural resources.  The Mississippi Headwaters program director for The Nature Conservancy and Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Coordinator, stated that this approach started with the Camp Ripley Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program.  The ACUB program purchased development rights through permanent conservation easements to minimize encroachment within a 3-mile radius of Camp Ripley.

Electric Vehicle and Biofuel: Pentagon Poised to go Greener Under Biden.  Politico (Washington, DC) reports that the Biden administration is pushing forward with combating climate change as a top priority.  This top priority includes encouraging the Pentagon to use its resources through funding and programs to achieve “mission critical” climate change mitigation efforts.  One program highlighted to achieve these efforts is REPI which covers efforts to mitigate impacts of climate change on military installations.

January 2021

Congress Continues to Affirm That Climate Security is National Security.  Union of Concerned Scientists (Washington, DC) reports that at the end of 2020 Congress voted to override the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes four provisions that will strengthen the Department of Defense’s climate resilience approach.  One of the four provisions authorize an additional $25 million to the REPI program.

Partnership Conserves 318 Acres in Dorchester County.  Chesapeake Conservancy (Annapolis, MD) reports that a partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, REPI program, The Conservation Fund, and Chesapeake Conservancy resulted in the successful conservation of 318 acres in the Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  This easement will prevent development in this zone which may have otherwise disrupted Naval Air Station Patuxent River training as well as negatively impacted the diverse plant and wildlife habitat and farmland in the area.

Navy Region Southeast Installation Receive Encroachment Protection Funds. The Navy Press Office reports that three Florida Navy installations received over $4 million in REPI funding for buffer projects.  Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville received $2.4 million, NAS Whiting Field received $1.5 million, and NAS Pensacola received $179,000 to help prevent incompatible development around each base which may hinder mission training.  The easements also support local landowners who can continue to use their land for farming without disruption from development.