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

Military Training and Testing Lands

Options for Mitigation or Enhancement
  • Avoiding or limiting the threatening activity
  • Changing the timing of and/or activities involved
  • Applying measures that protect native biodiversity assets, such as establishing buffers or fencing
  • Undertaking activities that result in net gains for native biodiversity, such as replanting, removing invasive species, or implementing biodiversity protection measures

The Department of Defense is emphasizing the concept of Sustainable Operations at military training lands and ranges as an essential factor in maintaining mission readiness. Sustainable operations represent the capacity to conduct operations in a manner that preserves the resources that are necessary to conduct successful mission operations indefinitely into the future. The resources include human, natural, and man-made resources including facilities, equipment, financial and community support.

Military operations may not always be compatible with biodiversity conservation. In these instances, mitigation should be pursued with impact minimization as the goal.

In addition to mitigating activities that harm biodiversity, the resources manager should consider creating and/or restoring landscape components that are critical to species most at risk and that contribute to regional biodiversity. Another strategy for reducing habitat and wildlife damage that does not constrain training is to expand the environmental awareness and education programs for military personnel. Properly designed and implemented inventory and monitoring programs should also be important components of biodiversity conservation for training installations. Biodiversity conservation can be as simple as allowing fires to burn on a range, and this may, in turn, help maintain natural vegetation and native habitat. And the resulting vegetation may provide a more realistic setting for training.

Proceed to: Chapter 6 - Managing for Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species

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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
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