ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Army installations earned three Department of Defense Environmental Awards for fiscal 2008, recognizing progress in environmental quality, natural resources conservation and cultural resources management.
In Germany, the U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg implementation of a robust environmental quality program resulted in the Department of Defense award for Environmental Quality at an Overseas Installation.
The installation received the honor for its use of a geographic information system to manage its environmental quality program. This electronic mapping tool allows 31 organizations across the installation to share information in order to integrate efforts for greater benefit to the environment.
"USAG Bamberg has provided a sustainable environmental quality to its personnel and surrounding community through its environmental management projects," said Amy Potter, Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
The Camp Ripley Maneuver and Training Center, Minnesota Army National Guard, won the Department of Defense award for Natural Resources Conservation at a Large Installation.
The installation achieved a number of major natural resources conservation goals, including enrolling 4,000 acres into the installation's Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) and protecting an additional 18,000 acres in support of the buffer. Camp Ripley also developed new partnerships for ACUB funding and natural resources conservation management, and secured special legislation that returns state timber revenues to Camp Ripley for its reforestation and forest management program.
"Camp Ripley has brought conservation of scale to the local community as recognized by other local units of government partnering with Camp Ripley in ACUB and other community based programs," said Todd Holman, director, Central Minnesota, The Nature Conservancy. "By working locally with Camp Ripley, our effectiveness as conservation organizations is enhanced. We consider it a privilege to work with the outstanding environmental resource professionals at Camp Ripley."
The successful effort in protecting and preserving archaeological sites in place, while still supporting their operational mission, won Fort Drum, N.Y. the Department of Defense award for Cultural Resources Management Team. A long-term approach to cultural resources management and experts with three-quarters of a century of collective installation experience combined to produce one of the most effective teams in the U.S. Army.
Their practice of attempting to predict expansion and survey land ahead of schedule avoided archaeology-related delays to the nearly $1 billion worth of new construction on Fort Drum in the past two years, an approach that helped the installation change its designs to avoid damaging six historically significant sites. Fort Drum is also the first Army installation to develop archaeological properties into training assets.
"Fort Drum continues to push the meaning of stewardship in the management of federal historic properties, clearly illustrating that the military's mission can be met while meeting the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act and other cultural resources laws and regulations," stated Katherine Kerr, Historic Preservation Specialist for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
The Department of Defense Environmental Awards represent the highest honor in the field of environmental science conferred by the U.S. military. For details about this year's environmental awards recipients visit the U.S. Army Environmental Command's awards page at U.S. Army Environmental Command's awards page.
This information is provided by the U.S. Army Environmental Command. USAEC is the Army's point organization for supporting the implementation of environmental programs.