Military installations and their surrounding lands, often maintained in a largely natural state and in rural areas, can also include source water areas. As development encroaches on these installations, it can affect not only the military’s training activities but also area natural resources and water supplies. Buffering these lands from encroachment through conservation can also be opportunities for watershed protection.
This session will share information from projects that highlight the connection between maintaining military readiness and complementary watershed protection. These partnerships make use of federal and state funding sources for protection and stewardship, which will be discussed. Existing collaborations with water utilities and ways to build such connections will also be covered. Highlighted projects will include:
- protection of Mississippi River headwaters lands around Camp Ripley in Minnesota, with goals to achieve 75% restoration and protection status in targeted minor watersheds to improve water quality and protect habitat;
- conservation of forests and aquifer recharge areas in North Florida around Camp Blanding with a long-term goal of protecting an additional 140,000 acres of the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor;
- the protection of water quantity and quality for downstream users as well as training airspace in the Santa Cruz and San Pedro River watersheds in the vicinity of Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona. The Fort has reduced its groundwater usage by nearly two-thirds in an area experiencing water scarcity; partners continue to support working ranches and restore critical habitats surrounding the military installation.
- Understand military installations and how they are involved with watershed protection.
- Develop familiarity with federal and state programs that can provide resources for protecting watersheds and source water areas.
- Learn ways that water utilities can work with military installations to advance their own goals for watershed protection.
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