Environmental Program Areas » Natural Resources
Watch KITV's news coverage on snail reintroductions in 2012
Read the Natural Selections article:
"U.S. Army Garrison -- Hawaii's Natural Resources Program Takes Home
NRP applies an ecosystem-based approach to managing its training lands to ensure species and the habitat to support them are restored and protected now and in the future. The program grows both endangered and common native plant species and outplants over 2,000 of them back into the wild each year.
To accomplish the daunting task of managing so many critically endangered species, the Army has developed a unique approach to partnering with other land managers across land ownerships lines and political boundaries. USAG-HI has developed "Implementation Teams" (IT) for Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), Makua Military Reservation (MMR), and the remaining Oahu Training Area (Dillingham Military Installation (DMR), Kawailoa Training Area (KLOA), Kahuku Training Area (KTA), Schofield Barracks East Range (SBER) and Schofield Barracks West Range (SBWR)). The teams consist of expert biologists from the leading conservation agencies and landowners in Hawaii. Partners include the University of Hawaii, Honolulu City and County Board of Water Supply, Forest Service, State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, US Geological Survey Biological Resources Division, Navy, Marines, Air Force, The Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii Plant Extinction Prevention group, Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, USFWS Refuges, and many private landowners. NRP realized that it would take a veritable "Army" of conservationists to stabilize so many endangered taxa and was the first to use this outside-the-box planning method to pull such diverse groups together.
Read the Honolulu Advertiser article:
"Environmentalists, Army Join Forces
The purpose of each group is to work together as a team to develop "Implementation Plans" (IPs) that precisely describe the management actions necessary to stabilize the Army's species. The value of working with these experts is that the Army has biologically sound management plans for its endangered species.
The basis of the IPs (The Army has 3) are the Army Ecosystem Management and Sustainability Principles and the 2003 PTA, 2003 Oahu, and 2007 and 2008 MMR Biological Opinions (BOs). The concept of species and ecosystem stabilization is a new concept not currently used anywhere else within the US to deal with critically endangered species and their habitat. Stabilization is based on all threats being controlled for a predetermined number of plant or animal populations (normally 3-5) and achievement of 3-5 populations with a predetermined number of individuals of various size classes. The idea is that by achieving stabilization, the Army has effectively moved the species from existing in a state of jeopardy to a state of stability.
Read the Hawaii Army Weekly article:
"Fire Threatens Flower."
The greatest threat to the species caused by military training is fire. Hawaii's sensitive ecosystems are not evolved to exist with frequent fires, therefore, when natural areas burn, aggressive invasive grasses are able to invade and take over. Once taken over, it is almost impossible, with current technology, to take the native forest back. For this reason, NRP has worked cooperatively with USFWS and the Army's Wildland Fire Program to minimize and mitigate the impacts of Army caused fires on natural areas. Smoking is only allowed in designated areas and there are very strict restrictions on the types of ammunition that can be used under the different burn indices (BI). It is every soldier's and staff member's responsibility to be familiar with the policy regarding use of different ammunition on the different ranges and within the different BIs.
If a fire is caused by unauthorized use of ammunition on a range, training could be stopped indefinitely and the soldier or staff responsible for starting the fire can be held personally liable for a fine of $50,000 for each individual endangered or threatened species impacted by the fire (i.e. 10 individuals=$500,000 fine).
The second greatest threat to the natural resources on Army lands is the spread of new invasive species. Non-native invasive species are a leading threat to our nation's rich biodiversity, as well as to national security, the economy, and human health. Invasive species have a direct negative impact on our ability to realistically train soldiers and cost the Department of Defense (DOD) millions of dollars each year in control efforts. By practicing common sense best management practices, we can help stop the spread of invasive species from one training area or one island to another.
Want to know More?
Read the Honolulu Advertiser Article
"Invasive species eluding military"
by Jan TenBruggencate
• Federal Endangered Species Act (1973 as amended)
• Sikes Act (as amended through 2003)
• Marine Mammal Protection Act (as amended 2007)
• Migratory Bird Treaty Act (as amended 1998)
• Federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (1934)
• AR 200-1, Chapter 4-3 (13 December 2007)
• Executive Order 13112 Deals with Invasive Species on Federal lands
All Oahu natural resources related records can be found in the Natural Resource Program Manager's Files - Schofield Barracks West Range Building 1123.
All Hawaii Island natural resources related records can be found in the PTA Biologist's Files - Pohakuloa Training Area Building T-93.
Army Regulation 200-1 mandates that each unit commander, directorate, and tenant civilian activity appoints a minimum of one primary and one alternate Environmental Compliance Officer (ECO) at all levels of command down to company/battery size or equivalent.
The ECO course is designed to train selected personnel for Environmental Compliance Officer duties. The ECO training ranges from the environmental management of industrial maintenance processes in motorpools and hangars, inventory control of hazardous materials and spill prevention, to consideration of cultural and natural resources, and the protection of endangered species during field exercises on USAG-HI ranges. This multi-media approach is designed to ensure each unit/organization controls the impact of its activities and services on the natural environment, allowing it to not only achieve and maintain compliance with current environmental standards, but to recognize and proactively manage future issues that might impact mission sustainability.
• Army Environmental Command
• Big island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC)
• Conserving Biodiversity on Military Lands
• Coordinating Group on Alien pest Species (CGAPS)
• Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
• Hawaii Conservation Alliance
• Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
• Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership
» http://www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dofaw/wmp/koolau/default.htm• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Islands Regional Office
• Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC)
• Pacific islands Climate Change Cooperative
• The Nature Conservancy Hawaii
• Trust for Public Lands
• University of Hawaii Annual Reports and Researches
• University of Hawaii Botany Department
• University of Hawaii Center for Conservation Research and Training
• US Army Protects Critically Endangered Hawaiian Snails from Invasive Predators
• US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region
• Environmental Topics from A to Z
• Frequently Asked Questions