Wildlife conservation and the U.S. Army.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Conservation of natural resources conservation of natural resources, the wise use of the earth's resources by humanity. The term conservation came into use in the late 19th cent. and referred to the management, mainly for economic reasons, of such valuable natural resources as timber, fish, on the Army's 15 million acres (6 million hectares) has long been part of its heritage. In the 1870s, the Army sent cavalry troops to what are now Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park (yōsĕm`ĭtē), 761,266 acres (308,205 hectares), E central Calif.; est. 1890 as a result of the efforts of conservationist John Muir. Located in the Sierra Nevada, it is a glacier-scoured area of great beauty; Mt. and other future parks to protect wildlife from poaching and vandalism. In 1886, the cavalry arrived to protect the future Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park, 2,219,791 acres (899,015 hectares), the world's first national park (est. 1872), NW Wyo., extending into Montana and Idaho. It lies mainly on a broad plateau in the Rocky Mts., on the Continental Divide, c. , and it remained there until 1916, when the National Park Service was created.
In the 1950s and earlier, the Army managed its property for hunting, timber harvesting, and agricultural use. During this period, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with the Army on management programs to develop recreational opportunities. The Service, states, and Department of Defense recognized the importance of conserving fish and wildlife resources on military lands. Congress formalized the DoD's role in 1960 with passage of the Sikes Sikes can refer to: People
The Sikes Act provides a framework for cooperation among the DoD, Service, and state wildlife agencies in planning, developing, and maintaining natural resources on military lands while supporting military training. For its part, the Army works to conserve natural resources while creating the most realistic training possible for its soldiers. Amendments to the Sikes Act have expanded its authority to develop ecosystem-based integrated natural resources management plans (INRMPs).
As a component of INRMPs, the Army actively promotes the recovery of 188 listed species found on 102 installations (fiscal year 2005 data), and it has put tremendous effort into preventing the need to list identified species-at-risk. For example, the longleaf pine forests managed on installations in the Southeast such as Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Fort Bragg is a major United States Army installation, in Cumberland and Hoke Counties, North Carolina, U.S. , and Fort Stewart and Fort Benning, Georgia, have been essential for increasing the population of red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis), an endangered bird. Fort Hood, Texas, has one of the highest populations of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) thanks to habitat management and the control of cowbirds, which parasitize par·a·sit·ize
To live on or in a host as a parasite.
to live on or within a host as a parasite. warbler nests. Camp Shelby, Mississippi, has prepared a candidate conservation agreement with the Service to ensure that the Camp Shelby burrowing crayfish crayfish or crawfish, freshwater crustacean smaller than but structurally very similar to its marine relative the lobster, and found in ponds and streams in most parts of the world except Africa. Crayfish grow some 3 to 4 in. (7.6–10. (Fallicambarus gordoni) will thrive into the future. The Service determined that, with implementation of the agreement, the crayfish no longer required status as a candidate for listing. Personnel at the Yakima Training Center, Washington, have managed their population of the Columbia Basin greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus uropbasianus) through fire control, habitat management, and population enhancement to ensure this distinct population segment (DPS Minicomputer series from Bull HN.
1. (language, text) DPS - Display PostScript.
2. (language) DPS - A real-time language with direct expression of timing requests.
["Language Constructs for Distributed Real-Time PRogramming", I. ) does not dwindle. Yakima's efforts over the last few years have contributed to reducing threats to this DPS.
An installation's natural resource management and conservation activities are delineated within its INRMP INRMP Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan . These plans are essential for the Army's successful conservation programs. Because of the effectiveness of these INRMPs, Congress amended the Endangered Species Act The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1531 et seq.) was enacted to protect animal and plant species from extinction by preserving the ecosystems in which they survive and by providing programs for their conservation. in 2004 to allow INRMPs to function in lieu of a critical habitat designation if the Service or National Marine Fisheries Service The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is a United States federal agency. A division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Commerce, NMFS is responsible for the stewardship and management of the nation's living marine finds that the INRMP provides sufficient benefit to a species. To date, the 11 Army installations have been excluded from critical habitat designation based on their INRMPs.
The conservation of listed species is only a small part of the Army's commitment to ecosystem health and sustainability. In 2005, the Army released its new "Army Strategy for the Environment." One of its cornerstones is a commitment to incorporate environmental considerations in all contingency and combat operations. This includes fostering an ethic within the Army that goes beyond environmental compliance and strengthens the Army's operational capability by using sustainable practices to reduce the environmental footprint.
This evolution in Army thinking has allowed for innovation and improvements in current operations. For example, Army installations such as Fort Riley, Kansas, and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma, have restored cool-season grazing sites to high functioning warm-season grass prairies, which benefit both military training and conservation of prairie-dependent species.
Army installations also carry out invasive species control programs. Feral hog and cat control and the removal of such harmful plants as yellow star-thistle, purple loosestrife loosestrife, common name for the Lythraceae, a widely distributed family of plants most abundant as woody shrubs in the American tropics but including also herbaceous species (chiefly of temperate zones) and some trees. , kudzu kudzu (kd`z), plant of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), native to Japan. , and saltcedar are just some of the invasive species battles taken on by Army installations. The Army is also active in the Partners in Flight program for migratory conservation. Army installations have set up monitoring stations and survey transects to help assess population levels of many migratory birds. Many INRMPs also contain management strategies to benefit, and minimize operational impacts on, migratory birds. Such strategies include changing the timing of field and forest activities to avoid nesting periods; protecting nests during training activities; controlling feral cats, cowbirds, and non-native birds; and educating installation staff and soldiers on wildlife conservation.
With continuing support from the Service and state wildlife agencies, the Army will continue to be a leader in the conservation of the natural resources that are so important to its training and testing missions.
Rosemary Queen is with the U.S. Army Environmental Center; Attn: SFIM-AECTSR, Bldg E4430; 5179 Hoadley Road; Aberdeen Proving Ground Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) is a United States Army facility located near Aberdeen, Maryland (in Harford County).
The Army's oldest active proving ground, it was established on October 20, 1917, six months after the United States entered World War I. , MD 21010-5401 (NaturalResourcesTeam@aec.apgea. army.mil).