Local

June 21, 2012

NTC continues demonstrated leadership in the protection / respect for its environment

A desert tortoise walks in its enclosure at Fort Irwin’s Department of Public Works wildlife viewing facility off of Third Street.

The NTC is not only the best military training facility in the world, unequivocally, it is a world leader in protecting the environment and the endangered species that thrive within its boundaries. Fort Irwin is home not only to great Soldiers, Family Members, Department of the Army Civilians, and Contractors, it is also home to Gopherus Agassizii: the Desert Tortoise.  For over a decade, NTC has committed considerable resources to maintaining the environment as well as funding endangered species studies within its boundaries, by way of example: over $70 million dollars has been spent and hundreds of man hours expended ensuring the harmonious balance between military training and the protection of the desert tortoise.

The NTC continues its worldwide leadership as a good environmental steward by engaging in a collaborative effort with the Pennsylvania State University and the US Geological Survey in conducting further Desert Tortoise research ensuring the protection, survivability, and restoration of species.  In early June 2012, 54 Desert Tortoises (DTs) were moved from the NTC’s Southern Corridor to pens in the Western Expansion Area (WEA) for research purposes.  This move will result in a win – win situation for the High Desert Environmental Community, DT researchers worldwide, and 54 DTs.

The 54 DTs were moved from the UTM 90, temporarily, to a controlled situation where they will be studied for approximately 2 years, under a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant, by the Pennsylvania State University and the US Geological Survey.  The study looks at the effects of translocation on the health of the desert tortoise. Translocation has been viewed as a useful conservation measure in order to reduce the impact of  land development on the desert tortoise species as well as its habitat.  Although tortoises may be removed from harm’s way at developmental sites, this action may negatively impact the host populations of tortoises at the receptor / release sites. Carefully designed and meticulously executed research projects funded by the US Army in association with the NTC Land Expansion Project have demonstrated that translocation does not cause a higher risk factor to the species because of physiological stress due to translocation or by predators, jeopardizing its existence /  survivability at a new location. The ramifications of disease and epidemiology in relation to translocation of the desert tortoise species has not been analyzed or studied in great detail.

Clearly, High Mojave Environmental Groups as well as federal and state environmental agencies have long been concerned regarding the effects of military training at the NTC on the desert tortoise and its critical habitat.

Since 2000, the US Army has committed $77 Mil to desert tortoise protection and conservation measures. Specifically, the US Army has funded the following:

  • The Development of DT Translocation Plans
  • Periodic Health Screening (Blood Checks for the Presence of Disease)
  • Desert Tortoise Dispersion / Redistribution Study
  • Desert Tortoise Reproductive Output Study
  • Desert Tortoise Genetics Study
  • Desert Tortoise Microhabitat / Burrow Use Study
  • Study on Relationship between Desert Tortoise Density and Vegetation
  • Development of a Desert Tortoise Habitat Model
  • Fencing (DT Fencing: NTC Boundaries, along Ft Irwin Road & Interstate 15)
  • Site Improvements / Route Closures
  • Analysis of Multiple Desert Tortoise Survey Protocols
  • Environmental Baseline Studies
  • Purchase of Mitigation Lands
  • BLM Rangers (X2)
  • FWS Biologists (X2)

A secondary effect of this tortoise movement is that 23,000 (+) training acres will now be available for military training.  The expanded Southern Corridor will allow for employment of more robust and realistic training scenarios enabling Rotational Training Units (RTUs) to better prepare for Combined Arms Maneuver (CAM), Wide Area Security (WAS), and Counter Insurgency (COIN) missions.

As the Army transitions from Counter  Insurgency (COIN) centric military operations  to Decisive Action operations, the NTC can look back with pride on this desert tortoise movement, and subsequent study as a critical event in maintaining the complex and dynamic nature of the NTC training environment while maintaining a balance with our environment.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs April 2015

Ongoing Free tax filing services. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday, through April 15. Tax center, building 230. Available to active duty military personnel (including Reserves and National Guard on orders for 30 days or more), their dependents, and military retirees. Call 380-3604. Holy Week and Easter Services April 3, 3 p.m., Stations...
 
 
ZacharyCook

Students practice the scientific method

Allison Piper, 11, a fifth grade student in Briarly Mayeda’s class, stands alongside her science project, “Goldfish Response to Pitch” at Tiefort View Intermediate School here, March 9. She hypothesized that her fantail g...
 
 
COLOdonoghue

Listening to the community

Col. Tom O’Donoghue, United States Army Force Integration officer with DA headquarters G3/5/7, spoke at a Listening Session in Barstow, March 17. Department of the Army officials and leadership of this installation addressed ...
 

 

Center Chapel re-opens!

Photo courtesy of Fort Irwin Religious Support Office Chaplain (Maj.) Vincent Manuel blesses the Fort Irwin Center Chapel sanctuary following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the chapel reopening after being closed for almost six months after severe flooding in August 2013. The National Training Center and Fort Irwin Religious Support Office celebrated the re-opening of...
 
 
FreedomFlight_looking_south

Cleared for takeoff

Freedom Flight Landing Strip is actually two 7,700-foot long landing strips and an apron that can accommodate up to 20 C-17 or C-130 airplanes. The project involved moving more than 750,000 cubic yards of dirt in a western area...
 
 

A service invested in your community

The Fort Irwin Exchange plans to complete improvements to some of their facilities and enhance their provided services to the community by this spring. “Currently, the Service Station on Langford Lake Road is undergoing an image upgrade to make it look more appealing for our customers and to increase efficiency related to customer service,” stated...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin