Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 9:30 AM

Vegetation Management - Is That a Military Mission?.

Robert Lacey, US Army, U.S. Army Eng. Res. and Dev. Cntr, 2902 Newmark Dr., Champaign, IL 61826-9005 and Alan Anderson, U.S. Army Eng. Res. and Dev. Cntr, 2902 Newmark Dr., Champaign, IL 61826-9005.

The Department of Defense uses approximately 25 million acres of land for military training and testing use.  The Army manages or uses nearly 15 million of these acres.  This land is in a variety of ecosystems with numerous variations in terrain and vegetation cover.  Many major military installations have the primary mission of training troops for combat by providing realistic rehearsal of combat situations.  Vegetation provides cover and concealment for realistic training, but can also hinder line of sight for selected training operations.  Vegetation is also damaged or removed by military activities, but managed to sustain realism.  Military lands are in the public domain and must be managed in accordance with all Public Laws, Executive Orders, and in many cases state and local governing regulations.  Vegetation management is an important aspect of this management as it comes in to play with respect to the Threatened and Endangered Species, the Sikes Act, the Clean Water Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and many more.  This paper examines the strategic relationships and the conflicts of the military mission and laws and regulations related to the management of vegetation on military installations.  These relationships and conflicts can make the military land manager's role critical in meeting National objectives.