ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Army installations earned two Department of Defense Environmental Awards for fiscal year 2009, recognizing progress in natural resources conservation at Michigan Army National Guard's Fort Custer Training Center and cultural resources management at Wyoming Army National Guard's Camp Guernsey.

The Michigan Army National Guard's Fort Custer Training Center's Environmental Office continually demonstrates its achievements in every aspect of program management, from rare ecosystem restoration to community involvement to fiscal responsibility earning them the Department of Defense award for Natural Resources Conservation at a Small Installation.

The natural resources staff not only executes its objective of conserving Fort Custer Training Center's natural resources but also works to increase these resources by introducing endangered species onto the installation, creating wetlands mitigation banks, sharing management costs with partner organizations and transferring its expertise to students, the general public and other National Guard installations.

"I was very impressed with the way the Michigan Army National Guard balanced the work of managing a diverse natural resource program with excellent coordination with their partners. I liked the emphasis on cost savings and focus on accomplishing work with the installation mission in mind," said Laura Henze, National Sikes Act coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "They have developed an innovative program that includes an emphasis on restoring endangered species, preserving migratory birds, reaching out to the community and providing outdoor recreation opportunities to the disabled."

The Wyoming Army National Guard's Camp Guernsey won the Department of Defense award for cultural resources management on an installation. Camp Guernsey was recognized for the efforts of its cultural resources management office in researching, preserving, and collecting data from historic sites as an integral part of enhancing the installation's primary mission as a field artillery training center. The camp is an ideal deployment training site for all U.S. military services, as it shares a similar terrain with that of Afghanistan.

Camp Guernsey has made stewardship and preservation of its numerous cultural and historical resources a main focus during the last two years. Because multiple units in all branches of U.S. military services rely on the installation for training; conservation and protection of the installation's cultural resources is viewed as critical to mission readiness.

"Winning this prestigious award shows our solid commitment to protecting our heritage. We give more than lip service to protecting our cultural resources. We work closely with Native American tribes to protect their past treasures while recognizing Camp Guernsey provides world-class training opportunities for today's military," said Maj. Gen. Ed Wright, Wyoming's adjutant general.

The Department of Defense Environmental Awards represent the highest honor in the field of environmental science conferred by the U.S. military.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16