DoD Biodiversity Conservation Handbook
Chapters:Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11IntroductionCase StudiesAcknowledgements
Chapter 6: Managing for Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species

How it Works: Conservation Planning at Arnold Air Force Base

Sinking Pond, a National Natural Landmark, represents one element of the rich biological diversity found on Arnold AFB, in central Tennessee. (Photo: Douglas Ripley)

The basic concepts of Site Conservation Planning are outlined above. What follows is an example of how such planning was applied at one military installation, Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, using the base's Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan. On the base's 40,000 acres is the vast Arnold Engineering Design Center, which operates 53 wind tunnels and other specialized units.

The first phase of conservation planning at AAFB was completed in 1999, with participation from invited stakeholders. The conservation planning effort was revisited in 2001 during an internal meeting of AAFB's conservation program, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy. The most recent revisions were developed during internal meetings in 2005 and were presented to the USFWS, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Army National Guard, and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for comment. During and following the 2001 and 2005 meetings, the conservation planning process for AAFB was documented in a spreadsheet application designed for that purpose by TNC. The following paragraphs describe the conservation planning process at Arnold and present the revised focal conservation targets for AAFB that resulted from the internal meetings during 2005.

The planning process requires periodic reassessment of targets, threats, and strategies and incorporates new information and changing perceptions into the planning framework. This has proved to be an important concept for AAFB's conservation program, as focal conservation targets were realigned during an internal conservation planning meeting in 2005. The focal conservation targets identified for the five-year period, 2007–2011, are:

  • amphibians
  • gray bat
  • karst wetlands
  • streams, springs, riparian zones, and mesic slopes
  • closed canopy hardwood forest
  • woodland/savanna/shrubland
  • grassland
  • rare, threatened, or endangered flora not covered in system targets

The woodland/savanna/shrubland system target is a gradient of successional stages that may intermingle spatially. Included in this focal target are rare plants (i.e., Eggert's sunflower and others), two plant communities, and the faunal communities they support. Rare faunal communities include several high-priority bird species on the Partners in Flight lists and a highly diverse reptile community, which includes the state threatened pine snake. This target will be used as an example through the remainder of this case.

Proceed to Next Section: Target Viability

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About This Chapter's Author
John Lamb is a conservation biologist.

Kevin Willis is a plant ecologist.

George R. Wyckoff is a wildlife ecologist at Arnold AFB, Tennessee.

Literature Cited
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