FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Fort Huachuca and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence hosted personnel from the U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA); Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration; national and state Natural Resources Conservation Service; and University of Arizona (UofA) College of the Environment and Life Sciences, March 22-23.
The visit provided partners of the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape an opportunity to gather and view on-the-ground projects, as well as discuss future projects and partnerships.
“Fort Huachuca has greatly benefitted from the strong federal, State and local Sentinel Landscapes partnerships," said Jeff Jennings, the Fort Huachuca Commanding Generals Civilian Deputy. "Through strong partner investment in the conservation and restoration of our unique working landscape, we not only make Fort Huachuca more climate resilient but also preserve our vital mission capabilities for ongoing Army Modernization.”
The newly developed memorandum of understanding with the UofA expands the partnership with mutually beneficial projects for university faculty and students, and Federal and private landowners.
“With this collaborative commitment newly formed with the UofA, the Fort and the Sentinel Landscape partners, were able to highlight their landscape needs catalyzing conversations about opportunities for research and integrating academia into long-term climate resilience planning,” said Amber Morin, Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape program coordinator.
According to sentinellandscapes.org, Fort Huachuca is designated as a Sentinel Landscape by the USDA, U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) on April 8, 2015, Fort Huachuca supports efforts to promote working lands, protect wildlife habitat and ensure military readiness.
A coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership works with private landowners to advance sustainable land management practices around military installations and ranges.
The partnership was founded in 2013 by the USDA, DOI and DOD to strengthen military readiness, conserve natural resources, bolster agricultural and forestry economies, and increase climate change resilience.
Home to a rich agricultural heritage, the Fort provides key watershed protection in a drought-prone region.
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to the Ft. Huachuca Sentinel Landscape area through Farm Bill programs including the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
The Sentinel Landscape Partnership in Arizona will play an active role in efforts to protect grassland and forest habitat, the species that rely on those habitats, and the water resources needed by Fort Huachuca, wildlife and that region.
Fort Huachuca is the largest employer in Cochise County and a significant economic contributor in Arizona. The Fort develops and tests Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities; delivers intelligence and unmanned aircraft systems training and education; designs, develops and integrates intelligence capabilities, concepts and doctrine; and provides world-class quality support services to the Huachuca community to enable mission command in support of Army and Joint operations and the continued evolution of Fort Huachuca.
The Fort’s unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, making Fort Huachuca a key contributor.