29 August 2005

DoD Celebrates Environmental Conservation

The "Gosh, the MSM Never Told Me About This" file is getting fatter than my game bag on the opening day of pheasant season. SECDEF Rumsfeld spoke at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation and said that DoD takes very seriously its responsibility to protect the natural resources on the 30 million acres of land it uses to house forces and test weapons. Defenselink reports:
ST. LOUIS, Aug. 29, 2005 The Defense Department has been working with both governmental and nongovernmental organizations to promote environmental conservation, because military readiness and conservation are inextricably linked, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said here today.

"Conservation is much more than a duty," he said. "It is really a proud part of the department's heritage."

Military readiness and environmental conservation are also linked at military bases that once were far from civilization but now are in the center of encroaching development, Rumsfeld explained. In these cases, the DoD is working with conservation groups and other agencies to limit development, he said, and solve problems such as suburban growth, noise complaints and air-space restrictions.

"These partnerships can help forestall development and can protect habitats, thereby conserving our natural resources, while allowing U.S. forces to train relatively free of encroachment-related issues," he said.

Rumsfeld cited the Northwest Florida Greenway project as an example. This venture partnered DoD with three nongovernmental organizations, seven state agencies, three regional and local agencies and two federal agencies to conserve open space along a 100-mile corridor in northwest Florida. This area is home to five major military installations that constitute one of the largest open-air military test areas in the country, he said.

Similar conservation projects are under way in California, Colorado, South Carolina, Georgia, Hawaii, Minnesota and North Carolina, Rumsfeld said.

Beyond the state level, the DoD is beginning a Southeast Regional Planning pilot project that could include four southeastern states and four military services, he added.

The three-day White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation is bringing together more than 1,200 leaders from federal, state, local and tribal government, industry, academia, nonprofit environmental organizations and private landowners.

President Bush convened the conference to provide a forum for leaders to exchange information and identify innovative and effective approaches to promoting cooperative conservation.

Did I mention that I am an environmental consultant currently working on several major DoD land transfer / conversion projects that involve lands such as those mentioned above?



I'll tell you tomorrow.

Thanks to Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette for his well preserved / conserved Open Post

Links to this post:


BlogItemBacklinksEnabled> Links to this post