DoD Biodiversity Conservation Handbook
Chapters:Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11IntroductionCase StudiesAcknowledgements
Chapter 11 Case Studies

INRMPS: Milan Army Ammunition Plant

A Successful INRMP Process: Milan Army Ammunition Plant

Milan Army Ammunition Plant (MLAAP) is situated in the central part of western Tennessee in Gibson and Carroll Counties. Established in 1940-1941 from land purchased from 387 individual landowners, the installation today occupies some 22,357 acres. MLAAP is a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) military industrial installation under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command. An Army commanding officer is typically the only active duty individual assigned to MLAAP. American Ordnance Systems, llc, the current contractor, with a staff of approximately 560 employees, operates the installation under the oversight of the commanding officer and an 18-member civil service staff. Most of MLAAP's boundary neighbors are private citizens in a rural setting. The city of Milan and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station share the northwestern MLAAP boundary, and the Tennessee National Guard shares approximately 70 percent of the eastern boundary and a small portion of the northern, southern, and western boundaries. Safety and quantity distance requirements are the only current land uses that affect neighbors' land use. Groundwater contamination affects neighbors on the western and northwestern boundaries (water use only).

Scope of Conservation Project

MLAAP is in the Gulf Coastal Plain Physiographic Province in Western Tennessee. Upland hardwood forest, interspersed with agricultural crop and pasture fields, occupy 97 percent of land not utilized for industrial facilities. Bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands occupy the remaining three percent. One historic property and approximately 1,500 acres of other sites judged potentially eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places have significant impact on land and forest management programs. MLAAP's natural resources program includes extensive agricultural outleases, commercial forestry operations, and outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing programs. Although no federally listed threatened or endangered species occur at MLAAP, the conservation of biological diversity is an important component of the overall natural resources management program.

INRMP History

In the mid 1990s MLAAP began exploring an ecosystem-based approach to its natural resources program. As part of that process, it established its first Integrated Planning Team (IPT), as described below, for the preparation of its Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP). It completed its first comprehensive INRMP conforming to the requirements of the Sikes Act Improvement Act (1997) in 1998.

The current INRMP was reviewed and updated in 2004 using an expanded Integrated Planning Team. It is now undergoing its next five-year review and revision. The INRMP process developed at MLAAP has proven especially effective in addressing the wide range of natural resources issues and ensuring the maximum support for the installation's military mission.

The Integrated Planning Team Process

Responsible stewardship requires a proactive management philosophy that recognizes the underlying complexities of functioning ecosystems. Formation of an Integrated Planning Team from a broad spectrum of natural resources and professional fields has been critical for assembling the necessary knowledge base required for preparation of the INRMP.

The flow chart (Figure 1) illustrates the complex, dynamic process utilized by the team in plan preparation and serves as the planning model for future management of MLAAP's natural resources program. Processes for monitoring and deriving research needs for future management are presented in the left column. This dynamic process (action-monitor-action-monitor) allows continuous refinement of ecosystem management strategies and permits the establishment of longterm databases critical for successful management programs.

Research has become an integral component for decision making in relation to the management of natural resources at MLAAP. Work initiated and conducted during 1995–98 provided the first structured research efforts and contributed valuable information concerning the status and distribution of selected biota (e.g., breeding birds, nongame mammals, amphibians and reptiles, fish, invertebrates, and plants). Additionally, this work raised questions that denoted needs for future research and, thus, provided the bases for research priorities planned during 1998-2003. From the start, an understanding of natural resources and detecting changes in natural resources was viewed by the planning team as a two-stage process (assessment of the status of resources, periodic monitoring) requiring long-term information.

In 1998–2003, research focused on filling gaps in the understanding of selected species (especially, mammals and birds) at MLAAP, developing standardized techniques for assessing biota, adding new and supplemental data to be used in monitoring species, and initiating monitoring programs. Studies relating to bird point counts (bird data gathered from a fixed point), monitoring selected groups of mammals, surveys and management assessment of white-tailed deer, and forest inventory were conducted. The goal was to put the status and distribution of the biota at MLAAP on a sound bases and initiate long-term monitoring programs to provide data to be used in future management planning.

The proposed (2004–08) Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan draws from a well- established database representing the state of natural resources at MLAAP. It presents a means of continuing to build to this database in a manner that yields a strong source of information from which to construct management plans. A major part of the proposed plan focuses on long-term monitoring. Proposed projects will provide new and important information on the status and distribution of amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, and plants as well as establish protocols for monitoring these taxa. Additionally, the plan provides for establishing long-term databases (ten years) for mammals and birds at MLAAP through continued monitoring of these animals. It calls for continued assessment of white-tailed deer, an important component of the installation's fauna as well as the principal game species hunted at MLAAP.), which should result in a strong understanding of population dynamics of the species on the site. Overall, the plan fosters long-term sustainable and environmentally sound management of the natural resources on MLAAP.

© Copyright 2008. NatureServe.

About This Case Study's Author
By Milan Army Ammunition Plant
Milan, Tennessee
Stephen Stephenson
Natural Resources Manager
Milan Army Ammunition Plant
Phone: 731-686-6474


Dr. Michael L. Kennedy
Department of Biology
University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee 38152

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