REPI News

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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.

October 2022

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (Norfolk, VA) reports that more than 150 military and civilian senior leaders attended the 2022 Chesapeake Bay Commanders’ Conference from August 17-18, 2022. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the Department of Defense (DOD) collective progress in Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection, innovative funding opportunities, the DOD Climate Adaptation Plan, the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program and Sentinel Landscape Partnership, and more from 25 guest speakers and presenters during the two, half-day event. The REPI Program’s presentation focused on funding methods for climate resilience and was part of a panel discussion that also included the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Sentinel Landscapes presentation highlighted project examples across the Middle Chesapeake Sentinel Landscape, which is anchored by Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
 
Agrinews (Indianapolis, IN) reports that the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape has partnered with the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) to help landowners in Hoosier, Indiana apply new conservation practices across the state. The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is a coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that work with willing landowners to advance sustainable land management practices around military installations and ranges. ISA Chair Jim Douglas, a farmer from Flat Rock, stated, “We are very happy to work with the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape to offer financial and technical assistance to landowners who want to adopt new conservation practices.”
 
The Department of the Navy (Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii) reports that the Navy hosted a discussion on nature-based climate resilience with several key stakeholders in Hawaii on September 29, 2022. This meeting, part of a broader collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers Engineering with Nature Program, aimed to develop natural infrastructure projects and promote partnerships that enable the Department’s mission, consistent with Climate Action 2030. The Navy and the Department of Defense are working together on large-scale conservation projects to support resilience. The REPI Program recently awarded nearly $15 million in REPI Challenge funding to the State of Hawaii, in partnership with the Navy, for the restoration and protection of the Waiawa Watershed. This project will improve 7,155 acres of native upland forests to support the recharge of the Pearl Harbor aquifer and reduce downstream flooding from storm events.
 
The Conservation Fund (Atlanta, GA) reports that Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield and the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust recently announced the protection of 3,800 acres along the Altamaha River that will preserve a corridor of undeveloped land within Fort Stewart’s Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB). A working forest conservation easement funded by the Department of Defense's REPI Program ensures that the property will remain protected from any development that could hinder training operations while supporting sustainable timber harvesting and providing wildlife habitat, recreation, and climate benefits. Larry Carlile, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield’s ACUB Program Manager shared, “Incompatible development is a real threat to the ability of many military installations to train to standard. Fortunately, we have strong partnerships here that ensure our borders and our neighbors' adjacent lands are in harmony with the military mission. We could never have protected Beards Creek Forest without the support of REPI funds and funding provided by our partners.”

September 2022

Popular Mechanics (New York, NY) reports that military installations across the country are working to protect endangered species. Military installations are home to some of the largest and most pristine tracts of native habitat left in the United States. Over 500 threatened and endangered species make their home on the nation's military installations; 60 live only on land managed by the Department of Defense. In 1960, Congress passed the Sikes Act, which requires the military to preserve and enhance the natural resources it manages while maintaining the conditions needed to train soldiers for combat. The article features endangered species from Avon Park Air Force Range, Naval Base Coronado, Fort Hood, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. 
 
San Antonio Report (San Antonio, TX) features an article written by Clay Thompson, Director of Conservation and Stewardship at Green Space Alliance of South Texas, which highlights his career working on large landscape projects. Mr. Thompson is responsible for supporting partnerships with the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and Joint Base San Antonio's REPI Program. In his role, Mr. Thompson works with landowners, farmers, ranchers, and conservationists to protect their open lands from development pressures.
 
Yahoo News (Sunnyvale, CA) reports that 24,000 acres of previously unprotected wildlands are now part of the state-owned Ceylon Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Camden County, GA. Ceylon is home to nearly 3,000 gopher tortoises, 1,000 acres of mature maritime forest, and over 6,000 acres of salt marsh. WMA serves as a protective buffer to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The REPI Program contributed to the WMA by facilitating the protection of a 3,000-acre conservation easement held by the Navy and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 
 
Read more about the Ceylon Wildlife Management Area: 
 
The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) reports that Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery in Polk County, FL, has been added to the Avon Park Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape and gained protection from potential development. With support from Conservation Florida, DOD and Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division established a conservation easement on a 320-acre property to protect the installation's missions. The easement adds to the buffer zone surrounding Avon Park Air Force Range, preventing nearby development that can interfere with nighttime training operations.

August 2022

The Department of the Navy (Washington, DC) reports that the Navy and the State of Hawaii entered into a cooperative agreement to allocate $14.8 million in Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI) Challenge funding toward Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Pearl Harbor Aquifer, and the surrounding ecosystem.  The REPI Challenge project provides long-term protection of over 7,155 acres of forested lands directly above JBPHH, including implementing landscape-scale watershed protection, restoring native forests to replenish the Pearl Harbor Aquifer, and providing long-term preservation in the Koolau Mountains.
 

Read more about REPI Challenge in Hawaii: 

 
The Brainerd Dispatch (Brainerd, MN) reports that a $400,000, three-year contribution agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Morrison Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) aims to bring forestry-related training and technical assistance to the 805,000-acre Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape.  The agreement will offer technical and financial support, making it less costly for private landowners to manage their property within the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape, a 10-mile buffer that simultaneously protects natural resources and the National Guard’s training mission.  “This agreement is really focused on long-term resiliency in the forested northern half of the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape.  This part of the state has large, intact habitat corridors that are almost entirely privately managed,” said Morrison SWCD Manager Shannon Wettstein.

July 2022

Arizona Public Radio (Tucson, AZ) reports that Fort Huachuca, in partnership with the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, will receive $2.8 million from the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program.  The Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscapes is committed to preserving the environment and natural water resources along the San Pedro River, Fort Huachuca, and the City of Sierra Vista.  Fort Huachuca Media Relations Officer Tanja Linton said that the funds from the 2022 REPI Challenge are critical for protecting land that allows for specialized training for military personnel on Fort Huachuca.
 
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Trenton, NJ) has awarded $9.4 million in grants to local government agencies, nonprofit groups, and universities to fund projects that will improve water quality and reduce the impacts of nonpoint source pollution from stormwater.  These projects are funded through Section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act, Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration funds, and the New Jersey Corporation Business Tax.  The projects will help reduce the impacts of nonpoint source pollution, which is caused by stormwater runoff that carries a wide variety of pollutants into waterways, including nutrients from fertilizers, animal wastes, and improperly operating septic systems.
 
Read More:
 
Association of Defense Communities (Washington, DC) reports that the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) recently announced nine projects that will get awards through the 2022 REPI Challenge.  The projects will limit incompatible development, enhance military installation resilience, and protect local habitats to preserve and improve key mission capabilities.  REPI is awarding more than $31 million in program funds and more than $60 million in partner contributions.

June 2022

The National Association of Counties (NACo) (Washington, DC) reports that the Department of Defense's REPI program works with counties to mitigate land use concerns, water quality impacts, and encroachment threats near installations.  The REPI program engages with counties through multiple existing partnerships, including the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership.  This Partnership is a coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that work with private landowners to advance sustainable land management practices around critical military installations.  During NACo's Annual Western Interstate Region Conference, Kristin Thomasgard, REPI Program Director, shared, "REPI is working with hundreds of partners — dedicated agencies in different programs to help protect and ensure compatible land uses — helping to assist with natural resource management and then also helping to mitigate impacts from climate change and helping to ensure long term resilience of our communities and installations."
 
Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (Fort Huachuca, AZ) reports that localities around five Navy Region Southeast Installations received more than $2 million from the State of Florida to help protect vital base military missions.  Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the funds as part of the Defense Infrastructure Grant, Defense Reinvestment Grant, and the Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant programs.  Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, NAS Whiting Field, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Panama City, NSA Orlando, and NAS Pensacola will benefit from the various programs.  Funding for the Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant Program is provided from installation buffering initiatives and often paired with other funding, such as the REPI program.
 
The Garden Island (Kauai, HI) reports that $1.9 million in REPI funding along with $4.8 million from partner contributions will be used to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise and improve the quality of water discharged from the agricultural drainage ditches into the nearshore environment at Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands.
 
Read more about REPI funding In Hawaii:
 

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (Honolulu, HI) reports that the State of Hawaii, in partnership with Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, will receive $14.8 million from DoD’s REPI program to help safeguard Oahu’s drinking water supplies.  The project will help implement partnership efforts focused on improving coastal and forest resilience, which benefits long-term sustainability for local communities and the DoD mission.

May 2022

Conservation Finance Network (New Haven, CT) reports that two parcels of land within a one-mile buffer around Fort Harrison were protected from development through strong partnerships that included the REPI program, Fort Harrison, and the Prickly Pear Land Trust.  These spaces became two parks that provide access to the outdoors in a variety of ways.  The REPI program is a tool used by the Department of Defense to protect land around military bases.  Through Fiscal Year 2021, the Department of Defense protected almost 830,000 acres of land, leveraging a total of $1.18 billion, including partner contributions.
 

How the Military Works With Local Communities to Combat Climate Change. The Pew Charitable Trusts' (Washington, DC) latest "After the Fact" podcast episode, entitled "Ocean, People, Planet: A Wildlife Refuge On The Brink," explores how a changing climate is threatening the economic livelihood, biodiversity, and cultural heritage of the area as Harriet Tubman's ancestral home.  The episode is centered on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, highlighting the inspiring story of a successful partnership for climate resilience among leaders working to protect coastal habitats and oceans, the intersection with national defense, and the legacy of Harriet Tubman.  In addition to the podcast, Pew released a Q&A interview with Kristin Thomasgard, the program director for the Defense Department's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program, about the Department's role at the intersection of national security and conservation.

April 2022

Florida Daily (Tallahassee, FL) reports that North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) will be working together with the U.S. Navy and the city of Jacksonville to conserve land around military bases.  The Jacksonville City Council recently approved an agreement to add NFLT to a multi-year encroachment protection agreement between the entities under the Department of Defense's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program.  The REPI program works to protect environmentally sensitive and agriculturally significant lands located near military installations.  The bases included in this agreement are Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Outlying Landing Field Whitehouse, Naval Station Mayport, and the Pinecastle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest.
 
Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, WA) reports that the Great Peninsula Conservancy will celebrate the opening of the new Misery Point Preserve this month.  The project was funded through grants, including a $1 million grant from National Coastal Wetlands, a $600,000 state grant, and $300,000 from the Navy's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program.  
 
E&E News (Washington, DC) reports that the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced the America the Beautiful Challenge, combining $440 million in taxpayer funds with private and nonprofit contributions to bolster conservation programs over five years.  Managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the initiative will streamline the federal grant application process by offering states, Tribes, territories, local groups, and non-governmental organizations the opportunity to apply for multiple grant programs through a single application.  This includes $25 million of funding from the Department of Defense through the REPI program to support Sentinel Landscapes and promote military installation resilience.  The REPI office will distribute the $25 million over five years and start contributing funds in fiscal year 2023.
 
The Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN) reports the designation of the newest Sentinel Landscape, covering 3.5 million acres near military installations.  The Southern Indiana designation will protect the missions at four Department of Defense installations: Naval Support Activity Crane, the Lake Glendora Test Facility, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Center, and the Indiana Air Range Complex.  The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership aims to connect landowners within the landscape boundary to state and federal programs for opportunities to help them sustainably run their land in ways that also support the military bases near them. 
 
Carlsbad Current-Argus (Carlsbad, New Mexico) reports that the New Mexico Land Conservancy and the Department of Defense's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program recently acquired one of the nation’s largest conservation easements at Armendaris Ranch in southern New Mexico, protecting 315,000 acres of land owned by billionaire media tycoon Ted Turner.  The ranch land supports more than 500 vertebrate species, per a report from the Land Conservancy, including multiple listed for federal and state protections.  The conservation easement was partially funded through REPI Challenge funding recipient White Sands Missile Range, a fully instrumented open-air range critical to DoD's testing mission.
 
WUSF Public Media (West Central, Florida) reports that Florida state officials recently approved the purchase of 17,000 acres of land that are necessary connectors to support wildlife migrating through the state.  The acquisition includes seven parcels of land that are part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Among the parcels includes the Todd Clemons Family, LLC Ranch, a conservation easement that will preserve the numerous creeks on the property that contribute to the flow of the Kissimmee River and provides a habitat for a population of sandhill cranes.  This project will be funded in part by a grant from the Department of Defense's Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative, a program in partnership with the Avon Park Air Force Range's Sentinel Landscape program.
 

DoD program protects climate landscapes and military bases.  E&E News (Washington, DC) reports that the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership’s effort to strengthen military readiness while addressing climate change.  The Partnership expanded by 50 percent this year with the addition of 12 million acres at new landscapes in Florida, Texas and Indiana.  These landscapes include military installations that are at risk of encroachment and incompatible land uses that increase the risk of storm surges, flooding, and drought.  The Partnership leverages funding and programs to protect the missions at these military installations while enhancing resilience to climate change and preserving our nation’s natural resources and working lands.

March 2022

The Economic Impact of Land Use Protection.  Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (Little Falls, MN) reports that since its inception in 2004, Camp Riley's Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program has been working to maximize compatible land use in order to sustain the military mission.  Camp Ripley's ACUB program has received over $43,480,810 from the U.S. Department of Defense's REPI program and the Army National Guard.  In 2022 alone, ACUB has received $500,000 in REPI funding, which will be used for conservation easements with already enrolled interested landowners; combined with the $2.2 million in funding, the State is already providing over 200 interested landowners.  In 2016, Camp Ripley was federally designated as a Sentinel Landscape, representing a formal partnership between the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Interior to further advance sustainable land management practices around the military installation and ranges.

Exploring Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program.  The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) (Ashburn, VA) reports that the Department of Defense's REPI Program is a strategic resource, not only for NRPA members but for the Biden Administration as it reaches its goal to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and freshwater and 30 percent of U.S. Ocean areas by 2030.  The REPI Program offers a unique opportunity for NRPA members to apply for the program for various resources, thereby increasing the parklands and green spaces they can provide for their communities at a fraction of the standard cost.

Federal Designation Goes to Millions of Southern Indiana Acres.  News and Tribune (Southern Indiana) reports the designation of a new Sentinel Landscape covering 3.5 million acres near military installations.  The Southern Indiana designation will protect the missions at four Department of Defense installations: Naval Support Activity Crane, the Lake Glendora Test Facility, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Center, and the Indiana Air Range Complex.

Read more about the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape:

‘Conservation win’: County included in land-protection program.  Reported by Daily Journal

Editorial: Atterbury area conservation aids landowners.  Reported by The Tribune

Federal recognition to advance conservation and military readiness around Camp Bullis.  The San Antonio Express-News (San Antonio, TX) reports on Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape’s efforts to strengthen military readiness, promote natural resource conservation, and increase agricultural productivity.  Thousands of military personnel train each year on the 28,000 acres at Camp Bullis, part of Joint Base San Antonio.  The base has 266 mission partners and about 2,000 people train there every day.  REPI is a key partner by providing support to limit development and land use conversion that could restrict military training and testing. 

Decorated Utah National Guard general retires after 36 years of military service.  KSL News (Salt Lake City, UT) reports that Utah National Guard Brig. Gen. Tyler B. Smith retired after 36 years of military service.  Smith worked to protect the training and environmental vitality of Army Garrison Camp Williams by securing water rights and protecting boundaries through the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program and the West Traverse Sentinel Landscape.

$1.5 trillion spending bill includes millions to protect Hawaiʻi’s environment and wildlife.  Maui News (Maui, HI) reports that the $1.5 trillion federal spending bill passed for Fiscal Year 2022 includes a significant amount of funding to protect Hawaiʻi’s environment with $75 million designated for REPI.

Read more about REPI funding In Hawaii:
Federal spending law to protect land, ocean resources important to Hawaii.  Reported by Star Advertiser (Honolulu, HI) 

Easement conserves 315,000 acres at southern NM ranch.  The Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM) reports The New Mexico Land Conservancy, and the Department of Defense (DoD) recently doubled the acreage of its 115 conservation easements from 340,000 acres to 655,000 acres at Armendaris Ranch in southern New Mexico, making it one of the largest in the country.  The conservation easement was partially funded through REPI Challenge funding recipient White Sands Missile Range, a fully instrumented open-air range that is critical to DoD's testing mission.

Check Out These Victories for Old Growth Forests Worldwide on International Forest Day.  Good News Network (Manassas, VA) reports as part of a partnership between the Defense, Interior, and Agriculture departments of the U.S., 11,000 square miles of farms, forests, and wildlife habitat around Eglin Air Force Base will be protected by the Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape.

Fort Hood wins national conservation award.  Fort Hood Sentinel (Fort Hood, TX) reports The National Military Fish and Wildlife Association recognized the Fort Hood Natural Resources Management Branch as award winners for the Natural Resources Conservation Management Model Program category at a ceremony in Spokane, Washington for efforts to strengthen military readiness, while working to conserve and sustain wildlife, plant species and habitat.

Gov. Ron DeSantis eyeing $40 million conservation deal.  Orlando Weekly (Orlando, FL) reports that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet are expected to consider nearly $40 million in land deals that would help keep more than 17,000 acres from future development.  A $2 million grant from REPI could help pay for a $2.26 million acquisition of 932 acres near the Avon Park Air Force Range in Okeechobee County.

Read more:

DeSantis, Cabinet Eye Conservation Deals?  Reported by Southeast AgNet Radio Network (Pensacola, FL)

Fort Huachuca collaborates with government, non-governmental organizations through the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership.  Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (Fort Huachuca, AZ) reports that Fort Huachuca and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence hosted partners of the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape for an opportunity to gather and view on-the-ground projects, as well as discuss future projects and partnerships.  These partners used the meeting to identify research and academia that can make Fort Huachuca more climate resilient and preserve vital mission capabilities for ongoing Army modernization.

High Ranking Defense Official Explains Why Salt Marsh Is Critical for Military and Communities.  The Pew Charitable Trust (Washington, DC) interviewed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience Richard Kidd on his work with the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative and REPI to protect shorelines, military installations, and wildlife by conserving a million acres of coastal habitat from North Carolina to northern Florida.

New program looks to boost climate resilience around bases.  Coastal Review (Newport, NC) highlights the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape pilot program funded by the Department of Defense’s REPI program, Sentinel Landscapes Federal Coordinating Committee, Department of the Interior, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The landscape is engaging in conservation and resilience efforts and is facilitating the planning and implementation of projects that address shared objectives across natural and working lands and resilience plans at local, state, regional, and national levels.  

February 2022

How The Pentagon and Partners Are Working Together to Combat Climate Change.  The Pew Charitable Trust (Washington, DC) reports how the U.S. Department of Defense and the Pentagon work together to promote climate-resilient infrastructure and military readiness.  The Sentinel Landscape Partnership, a coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations, are working to mitigate climate change impacts by improving sustainable land and water management practices around military installations.

DEP Offers $9.4 Million to Local Governments and Organizations for Stormwater, Flood Reduction, and Water Quality Projects.  EIN Presswire (Washington, DC) reports that REPI funding will be used to assist the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Water Quality Restoration Grants Program.  The funding will target safeguarding New Jersey's watershed restoration activities, including improving stormwater infrastructure and mitigating flooding for at-risk communities. 

Camp Blanding’s Chauncey one of four new board member to North Florida Land Trust.  Clay Today (Fleming Island, FL) reports that a previous Assistant Adjutant General for the Florida Army National Guard who provided oversight of the Camp Blanding Army Compatible Use Buffer Program has been elected to the Board of Directors of the North Florida Land Trust

A military program will help protect 3.5M acres of southern Indiana and aid landowners.  The Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN) reports that over 3.5 million acres of southern Indiana are now designated as the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape.  The landscape will protect the missions at four Department of Defense installations: Naval Support Activity Crane, the Lake Glendora Test Facility, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Center and the Indiana Air Range Complex

Read more about the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape:

This military program aims to protect land. Millions of Indiana acres are involved.  Reported by The Indianapolis Star.

Military program to help conserve swath of southern Indiana.  Reported by Associated Press.

Environmental initiative established around Eglin, Tyndall Air Force bases.  Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL) reports that 8 million acres in Northwest Florida—including the areas around Eglin Air Force Base, Tyndall Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Pensacola, and six other military installations—have been designated as a Sentinel Landscape by the Departments of Defense (DoD), Agriculture, and Interior.  The Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape will leverage environmental efforts among federal, state, and local governments and private-sector programs across Northwest Florida.

Read more about the Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape:

New Sentinel Landscape in Florida to Strengthen Military Readiness.  Reported by Southeast AgNet Radio Network.

Enterprise Florida Announces Designation of Northwest Florida as a Sentinel Landscape.  Reported by Enterprise Florida.

Lands around several US military bases gain protected status.  Stars and Stripes (Washington, DC) reports that the Defense Department announced the designation of three new Sentinel Landscapes in Florida, Texas, and Indiana.  These landscapes will advance initiatives to keep farms, forests, and wildlife habitats in their current states, precluding development that may be incompatible with the military mission.

Massive Snake Nearly Eight Feet Long Found in Georgia.  Newsweek (New York, NY) reports that wildlife biologists at Fort Stewart found an Eastern Indigo Snake that measured 8 feet long, just shy of a national record.  Fort Stewart is a part of the Georgia Sentinel Landscape in which aims to protect natural resources, enhance habitat for several key species, and maintain military readiness.

January 2022

Governor Abbott Announces $15.3 Million In Grants to Texas Military Communities. The Office of the Texas Governor (Austin, Texas) reported on January 11, 2022, a new round of $15.3 million in grants from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission’s (TMPC) Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG).  The grants will be distributed to assist statewide military communities to preserve, protect, expand, and attract new military missions, assets, and installations in Texas.  The City of Temple, near Fort Hood, will be receiving $5 million for a microgrid in the 2022-2021 DEAAG funding distribution.

This Beaufort County land is protected. Why Marines and conservationists are cheering.  This Island Packet (Hilton Head, SC) reports that the U.S. Department of Defense and Beaufort County have permanently protected, via a conservation easement, 2,068 acres near Beaufort which includes several miles of waterfront.  The property, known as “Oak Point,” is a peninsula on the Wimbee River in St. Helena Sound with 18 miles of river frontage north of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.  If this land was not protected, as many as 600 houses may have been built on Oak Point.

North Florida Land Trust Acquires Another 157 acres in O2O Wildlife Corridor.  News4Jax (Jacksonville, FL) reports that the North Florida Land Trust has protected 157 acres in Putnam County within the Ocala to Osceola wildlife corridor, known as O2O.  Funding for the protection of this land was provided by the Florida Defense Task Force through the Clay County Development Authority and the REPI program.  The land, which was previously owned by a timbering company, is adjacent to Camp Blanding.