I would like to see more collaborative work among agencies and including private conservation groups to address some of our compatable goals. Below is a copy of my thesis that examines how this was accomplished in Northwest Florida at Eglin AFB to restore Longleaf Pine ecosystems.
Re-establishing buffer areas around military bases offers opportunity for ecosystem restoration
Recreating wildlands around military bases buffers the installations from encroachment and also presents ideal areas where ecosystems can be restored to provide habitat for indigenous species. Military bases were originally established away from population centers. Residential and Urban sprawl from growing cities has now reached many military installations and developed the land surrounding them. This development reduces or eliminates the distance and vegetation that has provided an effective buffer between civilian populations and military installations. The encroachment up to base property causes several impacts that hinder installation operations such as reduced training hours, and introduces civilian threats such as housing development in crash zones. This paper proposes installing more buffer zones around military installations and using them for ecosystem restoration. Eglin Air Force Base in Northwest Florida hosts a thriving Longleaf Savannah restoration. Two populations of threatened and endangered species: the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Okaloosa darter are increasing there while installation operations are buffered from encroachment. The success is a result of a partnership that was formed between military and civilian stakeholders. This team approach has resulted in a massive amount of land being purchased and protected in one of the most ecologically diverse and sensitive areas in the Southeastern United States. This partnership serves as a model for military installations and surrounding areas around the world. Their approach has application in military readiness, wildland protection, restoration and rehabilitation projects where many resources are needed and many stakeholders are available. This study also shows that the human dimension is the most important facet of any successful restoration project.
My full paper can be read here:
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.