Military training areas and Conservation - Unexploded Reality

Subject: Military training areas and Conservation - Unexploded Reality
From: Chris Corben <>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2013 18:36:54 -0500
I have been involved in bat work on a number of military installations in North America. Generally, these are wonderful places to operate, with a great feeling of safety and confidence that your equipment won't be ripped off.

On one huge bombing range in Arizona, the habitat was just outstandingly excellent, and this was obviously reflected in the diversity and numbers of birds encountered - even though parts of the range are blown to smithereens on a daily basis and the place is littered with bombs and rockets and stuff. The habitat is still mostly in very good shape, presumably because most of it isn't actually a target. And none of it has ever been grazed!

Ironically, it seems the military here takes far better care of its natural resources than most institutions.

But just because it is military land doesn't mean it is safe in the longer term. If the Airforce decided to reduce its expenditure by reducing the area it paid to maintain (eg if it figured its targetting is a lot better than it used to be!), then there is no certainty about what would happen to the land it gave up. There are many and diverse vested interests who would love to get their hands on it. But in a land where prime habitat like this barely exists any more, it would be very sad to see such land go the way of all the rest of it.

Cheers, Chris.


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