Conservation is the wise use of land and natural resources. In our (the Army's) situation, it is stewardship of the natural environment of training lands. It involves balancing present training needs and long-term training site sustainability within the requirements of public land laws.
It is in the best interest of the Army to conserve its training lands. The lands the Army manages are growing effectively smaller as residential neighbors surround formerly rural facilities and as public scrutiny increases, as installations are closed under Base Realignment and Closure, and the Army will not be getting new lands soon.
Conservation is driven by federal, state and local laws and guided by Army Regulations. Although additional laws may apply, the primary laws that influence conservation and drive funding at Utah National Guard (UTNG) facilities are the:
- Sikes Act,
- Endangered Species Act,
- Noxious Weed Act,
- Clean Water Act,
- Clean Air Act, and
- National Environmental Policy Act.
The primary Army regulation that directs conservation is Army Regulation 200-3, “Natural Resources – Land, Forest and Wildlife Management,” soon to be superseded by the revised 200-1, draft "Environmental Protection and Enhancement."
The Sikes Act is the key law that dictates how conservation on a military installation will get done. It prescribes that installations will complete an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP). The plan for Camp Williams was completed in 2001; a revision is scheduled to be complete in 2006. The Camp William’s INRMP lays the groundwork for management by describing the natural environment and land uses of the camp. The major issues in conservation for the camp include grazing, wildlife, wildfire, noxious and invasive weeds, land rehabilitation, soil resources, and wetlands.
Currently, the only other UTNG installation that requires an INRMP is the St. George Armory due to the presence of endangered species. Until the current cycle of drought over the last 6-7 years, two high-profile plant species protected under the Endangered Species Act were on or immediately adjacent to UTNG lands. These two species and several others have been documented on all the surrounding lands.
The topics that are addressed within the following links are those that might either affect training or be adversely affected by training. They each include a brief discussion of the issues with any available tools that might be used to more effectively plan training events. Most topics are discussed as they affect Camp Williams, but the concepts can be applied to training elsewhere in the state and give background to the perspective and requirements of other government agencies. “Endangered Species” are discussed for training at or adjacent to the St. George Armory, but potentially apply to all training.