Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

Message from the Director

The REPI Program enjoyed an exciting kick-off to the summer with the designation of three new Sentinel Landscapes on July 12, 2016 at Avon Park Air Force Range (AFR) in Florida, Camp Ripley in Minnesota, and Eastern North Carolina.

The mission of the REPI Program is to combat encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations through partnering with a wide array of invested local stakeholders. The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership between the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior seeks to coordinate and enhance existing efforts occurring in overlapping geographic priority areas in order to streamline investment and increase outcomes. The REPI Program participates in Sentinel Landscapes because doing so enables installations to multiply the benefits to mission sustainment that their efforts produce through land protection, habitat restoration, and partnership.

Beyond designating the now six Sentinel Landscape locations, this partnership has allowed DoD to closely collaborate with the other federal agencies through the Sentinel Landscapes Federal Coordinating Committee, which has resulted in tangible benefits all installations can take advantage of. A couple of these recent successes include: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) awards to partners working within the Avon Park Air Force Range and Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscapes, as well as at other REPI buffer partnership locations including the NSY Portsmouth SERE School and the Southeast Regional Army Project; partnerships at Fort A.P. Hill and the NAS Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges Sentinel Landscape benefitting from Department of the Interior North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants; and partners at Townsend Bombing Range receiving a U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Award. These awards reflect a concerted effort, in part due to Sentinel Landscapes, to increase coordination between the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior.

In this context, we have been working together with our partners on the ground and at the agencies to support the Avon Park AFR, Camp Ripley, and Eastern North Carolina landscapes for a number of months, and it is satisfying to be able to officially recognize these committed partnerships in Florida, Minnesota, and North Carolina. The hard work of these partnerships leading up to the July designations has set the stage for each landscape to successfully advance the implementation of key goals and outcomes as they move into the next phase of landscape level collaboration. The designation of “Sentinel Landscape” recognizes that each location has brought together a strong coalition of partners and stakeholders; now, the landscapes will leverage these partnerships to more efficiently and effectively pursue grants and awards to complete their conservation, working lands, and military mission protection goals. Where partners may have previously been working independently or with a few other stakeholders, now partners will be able to draw on the collective expertise and resources of the entire Sentinel Landscape partnership to support their work. 

This edition of the REPI newsletter will reflect on the Sentinel Landscape partnerships at Avon Park, Camp Ripley, and in Eastern North Carolina, revisit the good work that is continuing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Huachuca, and NAS Patuxent-River-Atlantic Test Ranges, and forecast what is next for this remarkable initiative. 

If you have any questions about the Sentinel Landscape Partnership or the Sentinel Landscapes mentioned in this Newsletter, I encourage you to check out www.sentinellandscapes.org. In the meantime, enjoy the remaining sunshine and warm weather, and congratulations to the newest Sentinel Landscapes.

Best wishes,

Kristin Thomasgard-Spence

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Florida State Conservationist Russell Morgan speaks with a Service Member during a visit to the Sentinel Landscape. Credit: Deborah Keller, The Nature Conservancy.

North Carolina landowner Herbert Page speaks at the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership designation event on July 12, 2016, hosted at Mr. Page’s farm. Credit: Heather Overton, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Spotlight: Sentinel Landscapes

New Designations Announced at Avon Park Air Force Range (AFR), Camp Ripley, and Eastern North Carolina

The locations designated in early July represent the culmination of local efforts to bring together partnerships where a diverse range of military missions, habitats, and working lands interests converge. "The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership works because it meets multiple objectives for each of the different participants. This collaboration achieves shared goals and extends our relationship with dozens of organizations at the local and state level," Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, said. "By using USDA's conservation programs to protect viable farmland, rangeland, forestland and grasslands from development around these military bases and training sites we ensure that our military has flexible locations for training while at the same time protecting water resources and prime wildlife habitat on working lands." Now, each Sentinel Landscape will work towards achieving desired goals and outcomes identified by the local partnerships.

For Avon Park AFR in Florida, a primary end state goal is to protect the capacity of the largest air-to-ground training range east of the Mississippi River, which is not only used extensively by the Air Force, but also by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and state and local law enforcement for training purposes. Through preserving the integrity and function of working landscapes – including cattle ranches, citrus farms, croplands, and working forests – within the boundaries of the Sentinel Landscape, the Avon Park AFR Sentinel Landscape will help protect a historic way of life in rural central Florida and prevent or avoid incompatible land uses near the installation. Hand-in-hand with these efforts, the local partnership will also aim to contribute to the water quality, water quantity, and water storage capacity of the upper Everglades watershed, and by doing so provide expanded recreational opportunities for the local community. In turn, this will help the partnership achieve an additional goal of protecting migratory bird habitat and native wildlife diversity in one of the most biologically rich areas of Florida.

Almost two thousand miles north of Avon Park, the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape in Minnesota is also working to improve regional water quality while preventing encroachment on Army National Guard training. Camp Ripley is the primary National Guard Training Center for units from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and Illinois, and supports aircraft, live fire, artillery, and IED training year-round. The Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape also contains 40 of the first 400 miles of the Mississippi, and sits at the convergence of 34 minor watersheds. Proportionally, the Sentinel Landscape is one of the most important source water protection areas for Minnesota’s drinking water supply, and so is a focus of efforts to implement best management practices related to nitrogen fertilizer on farmlands in the region. The use of these best practices in regional agricultural will aim to improve water quality and help producers stay in business. Preventing the conversion of farmland to residential, commercial, or other development will benefit Camp Ripley, the local agricultural economy, and the quality of the region’s water.

The Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape – which is the only multi-installation Sentinel Landscape, containing Fort Bragg, Dare County Bombing Range, Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Stations Cherry Point and New River, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (AFB) – is focused on protecting the state’s first and second largest economic drivers: agriculture and the military. Given the size and scope of the Sentinel Landscape, the local partnership identified specific goals for each anchor installation. For example, one desired end goal is to protect land under aviation approaches to Seymour Johnson AFB and Dare County Bombing Range, while another seeks to restore high-quality habitat outside MCB Camp Lejeune for the Federally-protected red-cockaded woodpecker. Both will help to strengthen readiness at the installations, first by preventing additional noise or safety concerns that could limit use of the aviation approaches, and second through forestalling anticipated training restrictions inside the installation’s boundary. “This is an exciting designation and one that should help a lot of farm families in Eastern North Carolina remain on their land and continue farming,” said North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler at the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape kick-off event on July 12. “At the same time, it will help protect the beautiful and ecologically diverse natural resources along the coast and in the Sandhills, maintain forestlands and help maintain our state’s commitment to being one of the most military-friendly states in the country.”

For more information about each of these three new Sentinel Landscapes, please see the fact sheet available for download here.

Period of Growth for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Huachuca, and NAS Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges Landscapes

While Avon Park AFR, Camp Ripley, and Eastern North Carolina were working towards their designations, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington, Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and NAS Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges in Maryland have been evolving and maturing their Sentinel Landscape partnerships and advancing their landscape goals.

At the pilot location in Washington, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Sentinel Landscape Partnership is “continuing to move conservation forward,” reports Elspeth Kim, Cooperative Conservation Program Manager for the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), a primary partner within the Sentinel Landscape. Joint Base Lewis-McChord is home to 43,000 soldiers and airmen and supports artillery and maneuver training, land-warrior system testing, and operational airlift missions. As a consequence of decades of regional land use conversion, invasive species proliferation, and meadow encroachment, the installation is also home to the majority of remaining South Puget Sound prairie habitat in the Pacific Northwest. These dwindling native prairies are the prime habitat for three species recently listed under the Endangered Species Act: the streaked horned lark, Mazama pocket gopher, and Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. In an attempt to create more training flexibility for Joint Base Lewis-McChord on-base and restore native prairie habitat within the greater Sentinel Landscape, CNLM is embarking on an impressive effort to repopulate lost prairie species through cultivating native seed at the Center’s Conservation Nursery and Native Seed Farm. Restoring lands with native prairie habitat will move the partnership towards the accomplishment of key goals for DoD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The variety and volume of native seed species we're able to produce and distribute among partners has greatly improved restoration outcomes on CNLM and partner lands, including private pasture land,” said Ms. Kim. “With increased seed availability and resources, we now participate in Thurston County’s Voluntary Stewardship Program, further enhancing the relationship between conservation and agriculture.” Through the efforts of Sentinel Landscape partners at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the installation’s training capabilities will be protected as recovery efforts for native habitat and dependent species bear fruit. 

Since its designation as a Sentinel Landscape in 2015, Fort Huachuca in Arizona convened a Steering Committee that identified overarching objectives to drive the Sentinel Landscape, working groups for each objective, and timelines for the working groups to report back to the Steering Committee. Arizona Land and Water Trust, a key partner in the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape, was identified as the lead for the working group tasked with implementing objective two: the conservation of working lands and open space. “In this position,” says Sharma Hammond Torrens, Land and Water Project Manager for the Arizona Land and Water Trust, “we will continue to work closely with Fort Huachuca and the Sentinel Landscape Committee to ensure we maximize this opportunity for attracting conservation dollars to focus on preserving working lands, open space, and wildlife habitat.  In addition, with the extensive conservation collaboration already established, we will all work together to be more effective in our conservation efforts to conserve the missions of Fort Huachuca.” The success of this objective is critical for Fort Huachuca’s continued mission sustainability, as the installation’s mission is dependent upon its ability to conduct tests of new equipment in the natural laboratory created by the electromagnetic “quietness” of the high-altitude geographic bowl that forms the installation’s test range space. Development of residential, commercial, or energy projects within the test range can increase the electromagnetic noise of the area, inhibiting the ability to accurately test equipment. Therefore, conserving historic ranches and open space lands will not only benefit Sentinel Landscape partners focused on the region’s resource and agricultural health, but the installation as well.

In Maryland, the NAS Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges Sentinel Landscape has established an open dialogue with federal partners through regular meetings, and identified more opportunities for preservation and funding. As the partnership continues to expand, so too does the overall understanding of how regional partners can better fit into and leverage each other’s efforts. Melanie Anderson of the NAVAIR Ranges Sustainability Office says that there are a few questions emerging for the Navy team as they try to ensure their participation within the Sentinel Landscape is value added for NAS Patuxent River and the Atlantic Test Ranges. “Our team has been asking ourselves: can we have some proven, successful projects based on opportunities identified in the Sentinel Landscapes work group? Can we consider other approaches beyond traditional restrictive easements and move toward more holistic planning? But most importantly, what can we do in the Sentinel Landscape to help create a corridor of land compatible with our Navy mission and consistent with our partners' land protection goals?” In late July, NAS Patuxent River announced that a landmark 5,000 acres of high-priority land had been protected underneath critical testing airspace, which will ensure the Navy’s continued ability to fly aircraft as necessary in this space without restrictions arising from new residential development and accompanying noise and safety concerns. This win proves that the installation’s mission sustainment goals are well on their way to being met by the efforts of the installation and its partners within the Sentinel Landscape.

What’s Next? Advice to Future Sentinel Landscapes

“The success of Sentinel Landscapes and most conservation accomplishments depend on people and their relationships.  Knowing each other’s mission, objectives and concerns is essential,” says Deborah Keller, Director for Strategic Relationships at The Nature Conservancy and a key partner at the Avon Park AFR Sentinel Landscape. She adds, “Get out on the land together.  Have dinner together. Raise a beer and cultivate the lasting friendships that are possible when people come together to accomplish a common good.”

Across each Sentinel Landscape, partners and installations have echoed this sentiment. Boiled down, Sentinel Landscapes is an initiative about partnership, and without strong partners committed to putting in work after their day job is over, the partnership will not take off.

Ms. Torrens of the Arizona Land and Water Trust, a key partner within the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape, delved deeper into this idea. “First, focus on partnerships and creating wide-ranging conservation collaborations. Arizona Land and Water Trust and Fort Huachuca created key partnerships and obtained support from 24 agencies or entities concentrating on and interested in the area of focus. Second, thoroughly assess what makes the installation vital to national defense. The Trust worked closely with the Fort to ensure it could fully convey information relating to how essential Fort Huachuca is to maintaining national defense. Finally, evaluate what makes the lands around the installation critical in conserving working landscapes, wildlife habitat, open space and water resources. Continually consulting with our partners and supporters, we were able to fully ascertain what renders the lands around Fort Huachuca critical for the conservation of threatened and engaged species, agriculture and water resources.”

If partnership is the critical first component of any Sentinel Landscape, the second component is remembering that each partner has a set of objectives to achieve and is at the table to leverage the group’s resources towards achieving those objectives. While not all Sentinel Landscape goals will meet the objectives of each individual partner – and that is perfectly okay – the partnership as a whole can be a very powerful tool if stakeholders can harness the shared power of overlapping objectives. One example of this was provided by Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, commander of Marine Corps Installations East at the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape kick-off event on July 12. “Partnerships like these facilitate agreements with private landowners that may allow mutually beneficial and compatible uses, thus further enabling our ability to conduct realistic training in preparation to go into harm’s way – and win.” Phrased another way, Commissioner Troxler said at the same event, “The best part [about Sentinel Landscapes] is that it is a voluntary program that will provide opportunities for landowners and local governments at many different levels. Working and natural lands are standing guard over our military installations to allow them to do their jobs to protect our freedoms.”

As the Federal Coordinating Committee works to roll-out an open nomination process for future Sentinel Landscapes this fall, the REPI office encourages any installations or partners considering a submission to begin coordinating with current and potential partners now.

The partnership building process for a Sentinel Landscape, which represents a much broader array of interests than a traditional REPI project, will take time to mature, but the payoff will be worth it.  Ms. Keller summed up her experience leading up to the Avon Park AFR designation in saying, “Avon Park AFR and its neighbors have worked hard for many years to earn this designation. We started with a common objective and embraced opportunities as they appeared.  Everyone in the partnership is looking for ways to increase protected lands around the Range. With everyone working, more gets done.” Time invested in deepening and strengthening a partnership, even before a designation, is not wasted. At NAS Patuxent River, Ms. Anderson points out that those early coordination efforts “will support a successful REPI program whether you become a Sentinel Landscape or not, because both programs depend on the commitment and collaboration of many different organizations and partners who share common goals in the region.”

For more information about the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, designated Sentinel Landscapes, and the partners involved at each location, please go to www.sentinellandscapes.org.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signing the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Statute into law, 24 September 2015. Credit: Camp Ripley.

North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler shakes hands with Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, commander of Marine Corps Installations East, at the North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership designation event on July 12, 2016. Credit: Heather Overton, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

Sentinel Landscapes in the News

More Military Bases Join ‘Sentinel Landscapes’ for Readiness Enhancement. DoD News (Arlington, VA) reports that Avon Park Air Force Range, Camp Ripley, and Eastern North Carolina have joined Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Huachuca, and NAS Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges as designated Sentinel Landscapes. The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, which includes the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior, aims to strengthen military readiness by preserving local agriculture, natural resources, and wildlife habitat.

Three Military Bases, Ranges Added to Sentinel Landscapes Partnership. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the Department, together with the Departments of Defense and the Interior, had designated Avon Park Air Force Range, Camp Ripley, and Eastern North Carolina as new Sentinel Landscapes, expanding the partnership initiative in 2013.

Interior, Agriculture & Defense Team up to Conserve Landscapes and Wildlife Bolster Rural Economies, and Ensure Military Readiness. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) reports that the designation of three additional Sentinel Landscapes would further the commitment of DOI, USDA, and DoD to work together in overlapping priority areas near military installations to help farmers and ranchers make improvements to the land that benefit their operation, enhance wildlife habitat, and enable DoD’s testing, training, and operational missions to continue.

Scotland County Named Designee for Federal Incentive Effort. The Laurinburg Exchange (Laurinburg, NC) reports that Scotland County is one of the 33 counties within the newly designated Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape, a zone where voluntary federal incentive programs will be available for landowners and local governments.

Commissioner Steve Troxler Announces North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Designation. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) reports that North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler announced the designation of 33 counties as the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape at the Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro, NC.

North Carolina Receives Sentinel Landscape Designation. SFNToday radio station reports that the designation of 33 counties as the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape will aim to strengthen farms, ranches, and forests while conserving habitat and natural resources. The partnership will also seek to protect vital grounds for military installations.

Sentinel Partnership Protects Land Around Military Base. The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, NC) notes that Eastern North Carolina joined Avon Park AFR, Camp Ripley, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, NAS Patuxent River, and Fort Huachuca as a Sentinel Landscape, and is the largest one yet designated by the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership. The landscape will help protect Fort Bragg, Seymour Johnson AFB, Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River, MCAS Cherry Point, Dare County Bombing Range, U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, and other smaller airfields and training lands.

Wilson County Included in State Conservation Zone. The Wilson Times (Wilson County, NC) reports that Wilson County is one of 33 counties within the recently designated Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape. Additional counties within the landscape include: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne.

N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Announces N.C. Sentinel Landscape Designation. PRWeb (Goldsboro, NC) reports that Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced the federal designation of 33 counties as the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape on 12 July. Together with uniformed personnel from military installations within the landscape, county managers, federal partners, and local stakeholder representatives, Commissioner Troxler lauded the designation for its potential to “help a lot of farm families in Eastern North Carolina remain on their land and continue farming.”

Avon Park Bombing Range Added to Sentinel Landscape Partnership. Highlands Today (Avon Park, FL) reports that Avon Park Air Force Base received a federal designation as a Sentinel Landscape on 12 July. The designation encompasses three concepts: agricultural land, wildlife conservation, and military readiness, and will help to protect all three resources in Highlands and Polk counties.

Camp Ripley Gains Designation as Sentinel Landscape. The Brainerd Dispatch (Brainerd, MN) reports that Camp Ripley is one of three newly designated Sentinel Landscapes. Camp Ripley is the primary National Guard Training Camp for units from seven states, and one of the moist important source water protection areas for Minnesota’s drinking water.

Sentinel Landscape Partnership Adds 33 North Carolina Counties. The North Carolina Forestry Association reports that the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership designated 33 counties in eastern North Carolina as a Sentinel Landscape on July 12. The North Carolina Forestry Association is one of several non-profit organizations partnering within the Sentinel Landscape.

Troxler Announces N.C. Sentinel Landscape Designation. Bladen Online (Goldsboro, CNC) reports that Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced the designation of the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape from the Cherry Research Farm. North Carolina is the first state to have multiple military branches and installations included within a single Sentinel Landscape.

3 Military Bases Added to Sentinel Landscape Partnership. Farm Futures reports that the U.S Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior announced the addition of three new Sentinel Landscapes on 12 July. The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is an effort begun in 2013 to improve military readiness, protect at-risk and endangered species, and restore working agricultural and natural lands.

Training Sites in Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina Added to Federal Conservation Initiative. The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) shares that training sites in Florida, Minnesota, and North Carolina were added to a Federal conservation initiative, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership. The program focuses on places where preserving the working and rural character of key landscapes strengthens the economies of farms, ranches, and forests; conserves habitat and natural resources; and protects vital test and training mission on military landscapes.

Avon Park Air Force Range Named Sentinel Landscape. The Ledger (Polk County, FL) reports that Avon Park AFR was designated as one of three new Sentinel Landscapes. The landscape will stretch from Lake Wales Ridge to the Kissimmee River and is home to a number of rare and endangered species such as red-cockaded woodpeckers, Florida scrub-jays, and gopher tortoises. Avon Park has been the focus of efforts in recent years to buffer the installation from incompatible development through working with landowners to protect working ranches.

The U.S. Military and the Nature Conservancy Share a Common Goal. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) highlighted that DoD and TNC are working together to achieve common goals in Florida, including managing natural habitats on military bases to maximize biological diversity, buffering Florida’s military bases by preserving working lands, and working to advance habitat restoration. By working together in the Avon Park Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape, TNC hopes to protect critical habitat while supporting the military mission of the installation.


Join us for this online series on best practices, tutorials, and knowledge sharing on REPI partnerships that support the military mission and accelerate the pace and rate of land conservation. Our 2016 REPI Webinar Schedule is on the website and can be downloaded here.

Upcoming Webinar

State Policies and Encroachment Protection Efforts
Summary: State and local communities can offer installations more to encroachment protection than just buffers. Hear about the various tools, policies, and authorities states provide in support of encroachment management and mission sustainability.
When: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 1:00PM ET.
For instructions to join the webinar, please click here.

Past Webinar

If you missed the most recent REPI webinar, "Thinking Outside the Base: Off-Installation Solutions to Environmental Regulatory Issues,” please visit the REPI website to view the webinar recordings or contact us for more information. Below is a sampling of some key points and lessons learned from the recent webinar.

Thinking Outside the Base: Off-Installation Solutions to Environmental Regulatory Issues
•Galon Hall, Coordinator of NRCS’ Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) initiative, demonstrated how NRCS is trying to work together with landowners to move conservation forward with smart, appropriate efforts that provide benefits to agricultural producers and species considered at-risk for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). WLFW is a strategy for landowners that recognizes, for example, that unfragmented grazing land in the West is also the best habitat for many species of birds, and protecting and improving ranchlands might help to prevent the listing of various species.  
•Rich Fischer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), shared USACE’s efforts to begin proactively addressing species issues in light of the fact that USACE spends $230 million per year on managing species threatened and endangered under the ESA. A new team within USACE will be responsible for identifying the species with the biggest impacts to the USACE mission, and developing a long-term strategy for proactively working with these species.
•The goal of initiatives like WLFW and USACE’s efforts is to effectively address species before they become listed under the ESA. The ESA is a great tool for some species, for example the bald eagle, where banning the chemical DDT had a direct recovery impact on the species. However, it is a less effective tool for other species, whose recovery hinges on voluntary conservation efforts undertaken in conjunction with ESA protection.

Watch recordings of past webinars on the REPI website.

We’re starting to think about the 2017 REPI Webinar Series! If there are webinars you love, webinars you’d like to see, or webinars you’d like to host, please contact us

REPI in the News

DNREC, Chesapeake Conservancy, U.S. Navy Acquire Property for Sussex County’s Nanticoke Wildlife Area. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) (Laurel, DE) reports that DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife recently purchased 48 acres of pristine woodlands along a tributary of the Nanticoke River in Sussex County through a public-private partnership between the State of Delaware, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the U.S. Navy. U.S. Senator Chris Coons, Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small joined the partners at Phillips Landing, pictured at right, to celebrate the addition.  The property also expanded a corridor of protected land beneath the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Test Ranges, airspace that is used for naval flight research. The property was purchased using funds from a number of partners, including $58,000 in federal funding through the DoD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program. “I am very grateful for the REPI program leadership and the U.S. Navy for working with the conservation community around the country and especially in Delaware,” said Senator Coons at the event, pictured at right. 

The Birds and the Bombs. BioGraphic (Fort Bragg, NC) reports on the decades-long efforts of the U.S. Army and partners to protect the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) and longleaf pine habitat around one of its largest installations, North Carolina’s Fort Bragg. RCW’s preferred habitat, longleaf pine, is extremely compatible with training activities at Fort Bragg, and periodic fires set by maneuver and training activities help the ecosystem thrive. Due to Fort Bragg’s efforts to recover RCW populations and sustain longleaf pine habitats on base, biologist Jeff Walters of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University says, “The military is absolutely the best land manager in the entire Southeast.”

Land Trust Buys Acreage Near MCAS Cherry Point. The Coastal Review Online (Newport, NC) reports that the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust has purchased 302 acres of forested land along Mill Creek, near MCAS Cherry Point. In addition to its conservation value, the property provides a buffer for the military flight path that leads to the main runways at MCAS Cherry Point.

Coastal Land Trust Purchases Mill Creek Property. Havelock News (Havelock, NC0 reports that the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust purchased 302 acres in rural Carteret County, approximately 10 miles from MCAS Cherry Point. The Purchase would prevent development of tall structures, such as wind turbines, that could be incompatible with military air traffic from Cherry Point. Funding sources for the purchase include the Department of the Navy and partners.

LeRay Farm Added to Fort Drum Buffer Program. The Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY) reports that the development rights to a 473-acre dairy farm have been added to the Fort Drum Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB). The current owner of the property reports that the deal saved his farm. The purchase benefits the Army by preventing the development of structures that might affect training on Fort Drum.

Thank you, Marty!

Martin Skoglund

After 30 years with the Minnesota Army National Guard, Mr. Martin Skoglund will be retiring this September. In his capacity as Environmental Supervisor for the Camp Ripley National Guard Training Site, and later as Environmental Program Manager for the Minnesota Army National Guard, Marty worked tirelessly to realize the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape. His dedication to the Minnesota National Guard and the State of Minnesota will be missed by his friends and colleagues at Camp Ripley, across Minnesota, and in the REPI office. Thank you, Marty - we hope retirement brings you many more Walleye!