28 May 2008, 6:42pm
Federal forest policy Politics and politicians
by admin

Eco-Profiteers Infiltrate, Subvert U.S. Military Lands

You probably thought that U.S. military bases are used to train soldiers, sailors, and marines for combat missions. You thought wrong.

Under new guidelines issued by the Department of Defense, military bases across America are to be used for “conservation” and land acquisition by the multi-billion dollar, multinational Nature Conservancy.

The DoD Legacy Resource Management Program has formed a “partnership” with TNC designed to restrict training on U.S. military bases in order to “promote natural habitat restoration and protection” at the expense of military readiness. As base lands are converted from military exercise use to TNC “nature” holdings, U.S. forces will be sent into harm’s way with inadequate training.

A recent memo from Pedro Morales, Natural Resource Management Specialist — DoD Legacy Resource Management Program, indicates that:

We [DoD] will invest in forward-looking approaches that promote natural habitat restoration and protection, thereby preventing the listing of additional plant and animal species. We encourage projects developed from the regional TER-S workshops. We will not invest in traditional inventory projects, as these should be programmed for funding by the DoD Components. Instead, we will invest in projects that will enhance DoD’s ability to access, evaluate, and use existing inventory data. We also encourage new approaches and creative partnerships to promote natural resources management on DoD lands. In particular, we encourage efforts to integrate the goals of DoD’s integrated natural resource management plans (INRMPs) with those of the State Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies (State Wildlife Action Plans). …

This process promotes adaptive management, sustainable use for ecological and human purposes, and the best available science. It also promotes the protection of species on adjacent non-DoD lands, thereby encouraging partnerships and reducing the management burden to DoD. We plan to apply this proven planning process to other regions of interest to DoD or to specific ecosystem types with significant DoD landholdings (e.g., desert, coastal, riparian, or grassland).

Rather than military training, U.S. military bases are to be used for “heritage tourism”:

To improve public perception, the agency should promote and interpret the cultural resources under its care. Projects can highlight a particular preservation effort, a program, a product like a training video or adopt innovative approaches to allow access to information as a means to create heritage tourism opportunities.

Former public property mandated for military training and readiness is to be transferred to a BINGO (big international non-governmental organization):

Projects in this category could also include partnerships with preservation organizations to solve encroachment issues, following the example set through partnerships between DoD and the Nature Conservancy.

During time of war, the DoD is supporting eco-radical groups that lobby against U.S. military actions overseas:

It is important for DoD to be able to participate in certain national and international conservation initiatives. We will emphasize active participation in national partnerships such as the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). National Public Lands Day (NPLD), North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), Save America’s Treasures, and the National Fish Habitat Initiative (NFHI)… We will invest in other national and international initiatives that complement DoD conservation objectives. …

During the period FY 1991-2008, Legacy has invested more than $290 million to fund more than 2,880 projects.

There was no indication in the memo regarding the involvement of Henry M. Paulson, Jr. former Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Nature Conservancy and now United States Secretary of the Treasury. Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs since the firm’s initial public offering in 1999.

My observation from working with the Army and National Guard is that they would like to train with tanks, helicopters, 50-cal machine guns that fire tracer rounds, armored humvees and half-tracks, artillery, land mines, and a lot of stuff that trashes the ground. All of which is completely reasonable. I want our soldiers well-trained for their own safety as well as for accomplishing their dangerous missions.

The eco-overlay regulations foul up the training. If the land is to be a nature preserve, then the Army shouldn’t own it. Military training ground and nature preserve are conflicting and incompatible land uses. Excess lands should be declared surplus and sold in the open real estate market, not conveyed to TNC. Nor should TNC be “partnered” with DoD in the purchase of additional military training areas.

The Nature Conservancy has no place messing with Army-owned training ground. Sweetheart backroom deals with a multi-billion dollar corporation is NOT the way to manage public lands, especially not military bases and training sites. We need transparency and openness in our public land transactions, not the deception and profiteering that is going on now.

Note: If you live anywhere near a Department of Defense installation and own property — including Pinon Canyon/Fort Carson — please read this post very carefully. Whether “wilderness designation,” “Army Compatible Use Buffer,” or whatever language deception is used, not one more acre of private property is needed for anything governmental or military. The Base Realignment and Closure program clearly illustrates that excess land is already owned by the military. Its partnership with the likes of The Nature Conservancy has nothing to do with national security! — Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here].

5 Jun 2008, 5:25pm
by Mary M.

They don’t really seem to need big empty military bases for training anymore. Maybe they’ve decided that it is more in line with the goals of today’s military to be training for combat and control of civilian citizens (American?) on the streets of American cities.

5 Jun 2008, 10:20pm
by Mike

Scary thought, but also the exact correct judgment and analysis, IMHO.



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