Saving Rare Butterfly, Artifacts Helps Posts Win Environmental Award
June 5, 2008
WASHINTON (Army News Service, June 5, 2008) - Two Army installations received the 2008 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award Wednesday, one for natural resources conservation and one for cultural resources management.
Pennsylvania's Army National Guard Natural Resources Conservation Team, Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center won the Natural Resources Conservation, Individual/Team award. Redstone Arsenal, Ala., won the Cultural Resources Management, Installation award.
The Cultural Resources Management award is presented for protection and preservation of heritage and cultural assets, such as historic and archeological sites, while the Natural Resources Conservation award is given for conservation and protection of nature.
"We're here today to recognize the best of the best," Wayne Arny, the deputy under secretary of Defense for installations and environment, said.
Arny provided opening remarks for the ceremony, praising all the installations receiving awards for their great efforts in conserving and protecting natural and cultural resources.
"They are indeed talented teams," he said.
Redstone Arsenal won the award for coordinating with American Indian tribes to repatriate human remains and burial goods found on the arsenal's property, conducting an inventory of all archeological resources on its land, mapping archeological sites for impact assessments and mission planning purposes, and establishing an outdoor archeology classroom for local schools.
"We're honored, absolutely," said Ben Hoksbergen, Redstone staff archeologist, about receiving the award. "Everybody's stoked."
Hoksbergen believes the award represents great strides in the history of the arsenal.
"It's great public relations. Redstone started as a chemical weapons facility in World War II," he said. "We've come a long way."
Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center won the award for its efforts in preserving the Regal Fritillary Butterfly and its habitat, building nesting boxes and tracking migratory patterns of 12 bird species, restoring five acres of wetlands, and conducting prescribed burns to manage fuel loads and forests.
"It's satisfying that people recognize the work we do and that we're able to compete with the active component," Joe Hovis, wildlife biologist at FTIG, said.
Lt. Col. William Yearwood, plans and training officer, agreed, adding that teamwork played a large part in their success.
"It's an honor to be here," Yearwood said, "It's important to me to take care of the land."
Just after the ceremony's opening remarks were concluded in the Pentagon courtyard, guests and award winners were asked to move due to a severe-weather warning. The crowd moved inside and enjoyed refreshments from the nearby reception area before an improvised ceremony continued.
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics John J. Young Jr. presented the awards at the intersection of corridors five and six on the Pentagon's inner ring. Each installation received a trophy, plaque and flag in recognition of their achievements.
Young thanked the recipients for their outstanding service in environmental stewardship, and for their patience with the weather.
Other winning installations included:
- Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif.
- Naval Engineering Station Lakehurst, N.J.
- Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
- Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Partnering Team, N.C.
- Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
For more information about the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards, see <a href="http://www.denix.osd.mil"target=_blank>www.denix.osd.mil</a>.