The U.S. Department of Defense relies on critical land, air and sea space in which it can train troops and test vital weapon systems. These testing and training areas, once remote in location, now face increasing encroachment. Housing developments and schools built adjacent to installations pose safety concerns. Conversely, noise and dust from military training exercises are a nuisance to those same schools and housing developments.

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is an innovative collaboration to promote compatible land use around important military facilities.

While large rural landscapes such as farms, ranches and forestland are vital to sustaining agricultural and timber productivity and protecting wildlife habitat, they are also good neighbors to military bases. Private landowners maintaining rural lands, in some cases for decades and without due recognition, have significantly contributed to the nation’s defense. 

Through the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, the Interior and Defense are recognizing and incentivizing landowners to:

  • maintain working lands,
  • undertake conservation practices that benefit wildlife habitat, and
  • continue land-use practices that are compatible with the military’s mission.

NRI understands the unique relationship between natural resources and national defense and is assisting these departments in implementing Sentinel Landscapes. It provides its management expertise in programs and policy development where national defense requirements and natural resource interests meet.   

For more information, see the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership website.

Jaime Simon

Jaime Simon is a program director for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute’s Military Land Sustainability Program, supporting the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment‘s Readiness and En…

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