Military bases can benefit by addressing sprawl issues and biodiversity

help preserve the local agricultural way of life.

Titled The Thin Green Line: An Assessment of DoDs Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative to Buffer Installation Encroachment, the RAND report also says that:

  • REPI could easily use $150 million per year to address encroachment, along with more manpower, policy guidance and logistical support to buffer land around military bases.

  • Congress and the Defense Department should work more with state and local governments to support the funding of land conservation that benefits military installation buffering.

  • Community outreach between military bases and their neighbors are more effective with at least one full-time staff member who works on encroachment issues. Outreach efforts include establishing relationships with local landowners and nonprofit organizations, as well as educating military staff and nearby residents about the benefits of buffering.

  • The Defense Department also needs to work more with other federal agencies to protect biodiversity on their lands so that military installations do not become the remaining federal islands of biodiversity protection.

The report notes, however, that it is too soon to tell if such efforts will prevent significant encroachment problems or at what total cost.

The key to combating this issue is speed, Lachman said. A number of these bases dont have the immediate funding or partnerships to compete with development pressures and buffer additional land, which in the long-term would save them money due to increases in property values over time.

For example, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina has a strategic and strong partnership with Beaufort County to conserve land near the installation. However, because of the success of the nearby Hilton Head resort and the increasing number of retirees settling in Beaufort County, development pres

Contact: RAND Office of Media Relations
703-413-1100 x5117
RAND Corporation

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