DoD Biodiversity Conservation Handbook
Chapters:Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11IntroductionCase StudiesAcknowledgements
Chapter 11: Building a Strong INRMP

Sources of Help

INRMPs are frequently, if not always, the product of working groups, assembled for the purpose of gathering material for the plan and, later, for monitoring its progress. Sometimes private consultancy groups or universities are contracted to do the information collection and actual writing of the document. The working groups almost certainly include persons from the base itself, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the state department of natural resources (or fish and game department), and others. The Sikes Act requires that the plan be prepared by the installation, USFWS, and appropriate state agency. Since USFWS's active involvement was mandated by 1997 amendments to the Sikes Act, the agency has developed procedures to assist in producing the plans and in streamlining the USFWS approval process once the plan is submitted. (Lewis Gorman, USFWS's liaison with the Department of Defense on endangered species matters, says some at DoD might refer to his agency as "regulators, but we consider ourselves the cooperators. We are excellent partners with each other.")

Anyone can have access to the expertise from a computer screen. USFWS maintains a website, "The Sikes Act – a Dynamic Partnership" at http://www.fws.gov/habitatconservation/sikes_act.htm, and within that site there are links to the important aspects of INRMPs – endangered species, fisheries, invasive species, migratory birds, law enforcement, wetlands, and environmental contaminants.

Another fountain of data is the Department of Defense itself, through its DENIX website (https://www.denix.osd.mil). The site contains links to INRMP guidance documents; the text of the agreement among the DoD and USFWS and the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (now called the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies); a document titled "Best Practices for Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) Implementation"; and many others.

The DENIX site also contains links to information on state wildlife action plans, which installation managers will find useful in assembling their INRMPs. Such plans now exist for all 56 states and territories. These are federal-state collaborations aimed at collecting information on, monitoring, and designing conservation plans for wildlife. There is more information at http://www.wildlifeactionplans.org/. And the Legacy program itself is a great source of information. The Legacy Resource Management Program was created in 1990 by Congress to financially assist DoD efforts to preserve cultural and natural heritage, while supporting military readiness. (The Legacy Program also supported the development of the original DoD Biodiversity Conservation Handbook in 1996, as well as this updated version.) The program is explained at http://www.DoDlegacy.org/Legacy/intro/LegacyGuidebook_print_June07.pdf, with additional information at https://www.denix.osd.mil.

NoNGOvernmental organizations (NGOs) are another useful supplier of wisdom. They include The Nature Conservancy (http://www.nature.org) and NatureServe (http://www.natureserve.org/). Of special interest at the NatureServe site are its reports on species at risk on DOD installations (see http://www.natureserve.org/prodServices/speciesatRiskDoD.jsp).

Finding funding is a constant interest (and concern) of natural resources managers, as some of them explain in chapter 9. Although there are no Web-based ATM machines to cough up endless streams of money for species counting, wetlands monitoring, and the other components of INRMPs, the Legacy Program does provide a 235-page handbook, "Resources for INRMP Implementation," that explores the budgeting system (one chapter subtitle is "How to get funds.") The link is https://www.denix.osd.mil.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service files reports with Congress on its activities and expenditures relating to INRMPs. The June 2006 report, covering the fiscal year 2005, is at http://www.fws.gov/habitatconservation/FY%2005%20Sikes%20Report%20to%20Congress.pdf.

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