Funding Natural Resources Conservation on Military Lands
This chapter provides a basic overview of how DoD funds natural resources management activities, including types or classes of funding, sources of funding, it describes some aspects of implementation and general strategies for funding success.
Military land managers are always scrambling for more funds with which to conserve biodiversity. There’s hardly ever enough in the budget to conduct the inventories, swat the invasive species, protect the threatened and endangered plants and animals, write, update, and implement the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans (INRMPs), satisfy environmental management tracking and reporting systems, keep up to date with (and execute) the growing number of rules, regulations, and executive orders that govern environmental protection on military bases—and keep pace with the latest findings and discoveries in environmental science, explain all they have learned to their base commanders, civil works engineers, and trainers, and, while they’re doing all this, support the military missions (Powledge 2008).
Department of Defense (DoD) funds, as administered through the military services, are the primary sources of conservation funding. Other funds can come from organizations outside the base, the largest sources being other state and federal conservation programs. Ultimately, many installations employ a strategy that cobbles together funding from numerous sources.
There is wide agreement among installation natural resources managers about two aspects of funding: 1. there isn’t enough of it, and there’s not likely to be enough of it in the future; and 2. there is money out there, waiting for an imaginative and resourceful manager to pursue and obtain it (Powledge 2008).
When thinking about funding, it is important to recognize near-universal, strong linkages between funding, project execution/completion, and compliance requirements. All three components address particular aspects of INRMP project and other activity funding: how projects are programmed, funded, and implemented; whether funds are distributed in a timely manner; and whether high priority “must fund” projects are scientifically credible (Gibb 2005).