By Kris OsbornMay 19, 2010
Conserving the natural habitat of endangered animal and plant species while continuing realistic training is the goal the Army's Integrated Natural Resources Management Program.
Affected are 14 million acres and almost 200 species on army installations worldwide.
"We are designing ranges that are integrated into the natural terrain," said Tad Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health.
Among the protected species are the Red Cockaded Woodpecker (Fort Bragg, N.C) the Gray Wolf (Camp Ripley, Minn), the Desert Tortoise (Fort Irwin, Calif.) and the Yellow Eyed Grass (Anniston Army Depot (Anniston, Ala.)
"We have demonstrated that we can provide the necessary habitat to support indigenous plant and animal life and at the same time preserve a realistic training environment for our soldiers," said Davis.
Efforts to help the Red Cockaded Woodpecker at Fort Bragg, N.C. have already made a large difference in restoring the population of the endangered birds. In partnership with the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited Fort Bragg purchased land near its training areas to expand the woodpecker habitat.