Strategic Plan for Bird Conservation and Management on Department of Defense Lands
PURPOSE AND VISION
DoD’s bird conservation activities sustain and enhance the military testing, training, and safety mission through proactive, habitat-based management strategies that maintain healthy landscapes and training lands. This document identifies actions that support and enhance the military mission while working to secure bird populations. It also provides a scientific basis for maximizing the effectiveness of resource management, enhancing the biological integrity of DoD lands, and ensuring continued use of these lands to fulfill military training requirements. Participating in partnerships, such as Partners in Flight (PIF), helps DoD to more effectively meet its trust responsibility to conserve our nation’s biodiversity while protecting the military mission.
It has long been apparent that DoD’s installations and ranges provide critical “stepping stones” of habitat for birds during their annual migrations to and from Central and South America, and valuable nesting habitat during the breeding season. DoD is thus a key partner in the PIF coalition, and the many bird conservation activities in which DoD engages are an integral part of the broader efforts in which we partner.
The international PIF coalition is a partnership based network that has expanded to include more than 300 federal and state agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the Western Hemisphere. PIF’s mission is expressed in three related concepts:
- Helping Species at Risk – protecting species before they become imperiled;
- Keeping Common Birds Common – ensuring that common native birds, both resident and migratory, remain common throughout their natural ranges; and
- Voluntary Partnerships for Birds, Habitats and People – collaborating with partners to conserve birds and their habitats.
Because of this, we call our collective bird conservation programs and activities DoD’s Partners in Flight, thus mirroring similar efforts being implemented through the National PIF network. While our basic environmental responsibility is to wisely manage the land, water, and airspace entrusted to us, the imperative for DoD natural resource managers is to help Commanders implement their fundamental task of maintaining military readiness. While this document focuses on conserving migratory birds and their habitat via INRMPs, every goal and objective promoted here is consistent with and supportive of efforts to train military personnel by stewarding the Nation’s resources.
DoD Natural Resources Program, Strategic Plan for Bird Conservation and Management on Department of Defense Lands. 2014. Artwork: Julie Zickefoose.