CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Army National Guard received the U.S. Army National Guard’s top environmental award in January after scoring highest in the nation in the ARNG G-9’s four environmental sections: Cleanup, Conservation, Technological Innovation, and Planning.
The Environmental Stewardship Award honors excellence in environmental stewardship in service of the military mission. The honor was awarded during the ARNG’s Programming Guidance Course at the National Guard Professional Education Center on Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, adjutant general, said environmental stewardship and sustainability were key priorities.
”I am incredibly proud of this award and give credit to the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard who emphasize environmental stewardship in their everyday actions,” Crane said.
U.S. Army Col. Anthony Hammett, the Army National Guard’s G-9, chief of installations, environment and energy, presented the 2022 award to Nick Broyles, a member of the Plans and Programming Section.
Brian Sharp, the WVARNG environmental program director, said the program’s staff of 10 people deserved the recognition.
The WVARNG was recognized in the cleanup category for its proactive approach in addressing chemicals of concern, such as PFAS, lead and other heavy metals. The WVARNG is completing PFAS site investigations at three aviation facilities and Camp Dawson.
The WVARNG also received the highest score in the environmental planning program for accurate and timely completion of the National Environmental Policy Act and Environmental Condition of Property assessments.
The WVARNG conservation program was recognized for exemplary stewardship of training lands in coordination with the military mission.
The wildland fire program works to reduce fuel loads on firing ranges while coordinating controlled burns to enhance the foraging habitat for endangered bats.
Controlled burns are part of prescriptions in the Endangered Species Management Plan managed in concurrence with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Yearly population surveys for rare Golden-Winged Warbler and Allegheny Wood Rat demonstrate the WVARNG’s commitment of stewardship on military lands.