Pentagon pushes land conservation, partners with green groups
January 24, 2007
The Pentagon is actively funding conservation efforts around military bases in an effort to stem urban sprawl and other threats to facilities, according to an article in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal. Congress has budgeted more than $40 million in the current fiscal year for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative, which works with environmental groups to conserve land around bases. The program is currently working to protect more than 45,000 acres near 30 U.S. bases.
While some environmentalists are skeptical of the partnership, “the unusual alliance does offer mutual benefits,” writes Jim Carlton, the author of the article. “The program gives funds to environmentalists to help conserve lands that provide habitat to endangered animals such as tiger salamanders, arroyo toads and fairy shrimp. Pentagon officials say the program helps them preserve the roughly 30 million acres of military training grounds that they say are needed for the nation’s defense. These lands have been threatened by development because some homeowners complain about noise and traffic when they move nearby, Pentagon officials say. In addition, development can cause such safety issues as planes potentially crashing into homes and concerns among commanders that nocturnal training might be impeded by city lights.”
This article used a quote from “Another Shade of Green: Military Aids Nature Lovers” by Jim Carlton.