The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, comprised of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Interior (DOI) has announced three new areas designated as sentinel landscapes. These are areas where natural and working lands thrive alongside military installations and ranges, and play a key role in strengthening the nation’s military readiness while addressing natural resources concerns like climate change.
The three new sentinel landscapes are located in Florida, Indiana and Texas.
“These new sentinel landscapes are a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership,” said USDA’s NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “By using USDA’s conservation programs to protect and enhance farmland, rangeland, forestland and grasslands around military installations, we can invest in critical water resources and wildlife habitat on working lands and support climate-smart agriculture, while also advancing military training and testing opportunities.”
The Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape contains rural and agricultural lands, iconic longleaf pine forests, threatened and endangered species habitat and nine key DoD facilities, which are integral to U.S. Air Force training, weapons testing and special operations and also provide initial training to all Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviators. Partners will focus on addressing resilience and sustainability challenges; retain working agriculture and forest lands as compatible, resilient and sustainable land uses; increase the resilience and sustainability of natural systems by conserving and restoring habitat and water resources; and identify, implement and accelerate projects that mitigate coastal risks and increase the climate resilience of military installations and the landscapes that overlap mission footprints.