DoD Biodiversity Conservation Handbook
Chapters:Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11IntroductionCase StudiesAcknowledgements
Chapter 5: Balancing Biodiversity Conservation With Multiple Uses

Strategic Planning for Biodiversity Management

Planning for the conservation and/or enhancement of biodiversity on installations with multiple land uses requires that a strategic approach is taken to ensure ecosystem integrity and sustainability. Ecological integrity is one of the operating tenets of ecosystem management, and maintaining system integrity is consistent with DoDI 4715.3 (1996). Ecosystem integrity, as defined by Angermeier and Karr (1994), is "the ability to support and maintain a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to that of natural habitat of the region."

Biodiversity management involves restoring, protecting, conserving, and enhancing the variety of biological resources. When land use goals vary or conflict with biodiversity conservation, then biodiversity management must be proactive and protective. Restoring biodiversity once it has been degraded is not simple damage repair. In some cases repair may not be possible, and so every effort must be taken to protect and conserve biodiversity.

Conserving biodiversity in the context of multiple land uses and within the confines of DoDlands has indisputable merits. However, the benefits are more likely realized when they extend "beyond the fence" and are conducted within a regional context, and when they are defined more by ecosystem considerations than by legal or political boundaries. Initiatives such as the Army Compatible Use Buffers (ACUB) Program (, provide an opportunity for installations to pursue biodiversity conservation goals beyond the installation boundary. acubs present the opportunity to more effectively manage for biodiversity by incorporating approaches over large scale regional and sub-regional landscapes – a primary tenet of ecosystem management.

To meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation, specific long-term biodiversity management goals and objectives should be developed and the associated actions and projects should be identified and described, and incorporated into an installation's INRMP. During the annual INRMP review and update, resource managers and planners should consider the following biodiversity points for military training, and for other installation land uses (agriculture, hunting, fishing, recreation, special management areas, etc.):

  • Determine biodiversity priorities for each specific land use.
  • Estimate the ecological conditions necessary to sustain the biodiversity priorities.
  • Identify alternative land use strategies that may have less impact on or benefit biodiversity.
  • Develop monitoring objectives and methods that include biodiversity and are based on the stated management goals and desired future scenarios.
  • Develop and implement adaptive management as needed when uncertainty of the outcome is high and/or when previous efforts have been less than successful.

Specific considerations for biodiversity management are outlined below for the typical installation land uses – forestry, agriculture outleasing, hunting and fishing, recreation, special natural areas, and training lands.

Proceed to Next Section: Biodiversity Management in Forestry and Silviculture Programs

© Copyright 2008. NatureServe.

Sections In This Chapter

View Related Case Studies

About This Chapter's Author
Dorothy M. Gibb is the Technical Director at A.H. Environmental Consultants.

Joseph S. Ferris is the Principal Environmental Consultant at Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Literature Cited
Click here to view literature cited in this chapter.

View this Chapter in PDF Format
Click here to download Chapter 5 as a PDF.

NatureServe DoD