Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program: A Partnership for Protection

Wednesday September 26, 2007

What is it? The Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program is a tool for protecting an installation's accessibility, capability, and capacity for training and testing by sustaining natural habitats, open space, and working lands near the installation. The program helps to achieve conservation objectives and supports the Soldier's ability to "train as they fight" through partnerships with public and private organizations, as well as willing landowners in nearby communities.

Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 2684a, Agreements to Limit Encroachments and Other Constraints on Military Training, Testing, and Operations, allows the Army to enter into agreements to limit encroachment and preserve habitat.

ACUB enables an installation to work with government and non-government entities, as well as individual landowners, to conserve land outside the installation fence-line in order to minimize suburban sprawl that limits Army training and testing operations. Through ACUB, the Army reaches out to partners to identify mutual land conservation objectives and to protect critical open areas. The Army contributes funds to a conservation partner's purchase of property or easements from willing landowners, ultimately preserving important natural resources and limiting land development that is incompatible with installation operations.

What has the Army done? Twenty-two Army installations have approved ACUB programs. Partnerships include more than 30 local and national conservation groups, state and county governments, and other federal agencies, which have provided approximately $115 million in contributions. Together with our ACUB partners, the Army has permanently preserved more than 65,000 acres of buffer lands around Army installations -- helping to "sustain the mission, secure the future."

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army will continue to use funds provided by the Defense Department's Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative and those contributed by our partners to establish compatible use buffers at priority installations. It is currently partnering to preserve another 18,000 acres of buffer lands, and at least eight more installations will join this cooperative conservation effort in the next year.

Why is this important to the Army? The Army is committed to sustaining our installations' ability to conduct training and testing operations by protecting installations from the effects of encroaching development. The Army's number-one tool for achieving this sustainability is the ACUB program. ACUB is good for the environment, good for the installation, good for the Soldier -- ACUB is, quite simply, "a partnership for protection."

For more information, visit the ACUB website.


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