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Military bases can benefit by addressing sprawl issues and biodiversity

encroachment problems, which occur as housing and other developments are built near military bases. The proximity of this growth can prompt complaints from residents and lead to constraints on testing and training operations at nearby bases. Additionally, the loss of biodiversity can result in threatened or endangered species, which, if present on a military base, can restrict certain training or testing operations.

REPI allows military departments to partner with state and local government agencies and non-governmental organizations, like conservation groups, to establish buffer areas near training and testing areas.

Buffering partners can share the costs of acquiring property interests from willing sellers or participate in land easements, where current property owners keep the land but sell the development rights to a buffering partner. In turn, the buffered land protects the communitys ecosystem and nearby training bases from business and residential development effects.

Considered a biodiversity hot spot, Floridas Eglin Air Force Base is home to 64 threatened and endangered species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker and the leatherback sea turtle.

Lachman said that Eglins strategic collaboration with the Florida state government, The Nature Conservancy, and other organizations is helping to prevent encroachment and to protect the states unique biodiversity.

In the case of Fort Carson, protection of rare plant species located on the base helps to prevent restrictions on training operations. Additional buffering projects also help protect the bases nighttime air and ground training from light interference by keeping open space between the training areas and nearby developments.

According to the RAND report, REPI has also affected the quality of life around Fort Carson by protecting large open spaces. Similarly, buffering projects such as the ones near Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada can also
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Contact: RAND Office of Media Relations
media@rand.org
703-413-1100 x5117
RAND Corporation
28-Jun-2007


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