How to Use This Guide
Largely undisturbed natural habitat in buffer areas surrounding impact zones, such as these at Avon Park Air Force Range, represents some of the best-preserved natural habitat in central Florida's Lake Wales Ridge. (Photo: Douglas Ripley)
This guide provides background information, examples, and tools to help natural
resources managers develop ecosystem-based biodiversity conservation strategies
in the context of the military mission and Integrated Natural Resources Management
Plans. The problems and opportunities that natural resources managers face
vary from installation to installation. Some installations comprise many thousands
of acres, support populations of rare species or sensitive natural communities, and
have substantial staff and funding allocated to natural resources management.
Other installations are biologically more modest, or have relatively few staff and
little funding available for natural resources management. This guide is designed
to offer assistance and guidance for managers of both types of installations. Other
important factors include the level of support from installation commanders and
other senior managers, the degrees of receptivity of operations/training personnel,
and the nature and intensity of the military mission on the installation. Still, no
matter what conditions exist on the installation, it is always possible to improve
management practices in some way, and the principles and examples provided here
will be applicable.With commitment and creativity and often patience and willingness
to compromise you can promote stewardship and make a contribution
to the military mission through biodiversity conservation.
Over the past decade a great deal of innovation and experience has been gained
across the Department of Defense in supporting the military mission through biodiversity conservation. The first edition of this guide was largely organized around
the model process for ecosystem management described in box 1.2. This new
handbook edition takes advantage of the many successful applications of these
principles that have been carried out over the past ten years, and is organized
around best practices and lessons learned by many of the military's leading natural
resources practitioners. We also focus on practical applications of many of
the principles and underlying theories summarized in the handbook's first edition.
The guide can be read sequentially, or the reader is invited to delve into specific
topics and chapters that may be of interest, or relate to current issues or
problems that they are confronting.
Proceed to Next Section: Maintaining Readiness, Sustaining Biodiversity