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    Fort Indiantown Gap environmental program wins 2018 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award for conservation

    Fort Indiantown Gap environmental program wins 2018 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award for conservation

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Zane Craig | The Fort Indiantown Gap natural resource conservation team, staffed by members of the...... read more read more

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, PA, UNITED STATES

    07.13.2018

    Story by Sgt. Zane Craig 

    Fort Indiantown Gap

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. –The installation's natural resource conservation team, staffed by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs won the 2018 Secretary of the Army Natural Resources Conservation Team Award.

    Pennsylvania State Representatives Sue Helm and Frank Ryan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Eugene Collins; U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's Adjutant General; Lebanon County Commissioners Bill Ames and Jo Ellen Litz and other dignitaries attended the awards ceremony today.

    Fort Indiantown Gap is the busiest Army National Guard training center in the nation and winning an environmental award in addition to training a large volume of troops here was highlighted during the ceremony by presenters. "While we've been able to increase the effectiveness of our training, we've also done great things for the environment," said Carrelli. "Those two don't always go together. It would be easy to have an excellent training center without the environmental accomplishments. Or to have an environmentally sound installation that does not train many troops."

    “Your work ethic and excellence in sustaining world-class training while raising warfighting readiness to record levels, all while exercising the Army's best-in-class environmental stewardship....that is what our Army is all about.” said Collins.

    The team won for its successful, ongoing conservation efforts including the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program, the prescribed burn program, and its work with reintroducing the regal fritillary butterfly and managing its critical habitat.

    Specifically, the environmental team partnered with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation to acquire nearly 8,500 acres adjacent to DeHart Reservoir through a conservation easement as part of the ACUB program. The preserved land includes aircraft flight paths that if developed, would restrict important training activities and disturb potential residents. They burn an average of 2,000 to 3,000 acres per year to establish and maintain native grasslands which also provide realistic military training areas for soldiers. Regularly conducting burns helps reduce the build-up of “fuels” and reduces military training delays caused by unplanned wildfires. The team also enhanced grassland by planting native vegetation and working with partners at Zoo America Hershey and Temple University to successfully conserve and propagate the rare Regal Fritillary Butterfly, which thrives in the regularly burned habitat.

    John Fronko, director of the Bureau of Environmental Management, is happy with the win. “It is an honor for our FTIG natural resources conservation team to be recognized by the Department of the Army as we demonstrate that we can support the military training mission while protecting and enhancing the environment we train in."

    The Pennsylvania National Guard, Bureau of Environmental Management, is committed to environmental excellence in supporting the missions of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs as well as the Pennsylvania National Guard. The bureau manages a large variety of programs ranging from endangered species to cultural resources to hazardous waste.

    Fort Indiantown Gap is the busiest Army National Guard Training Center in the nation and is run by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.13.2018
    Date Posted: 07.13.2018 15:12
    Story ID: 284108
    Location: FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, PA, US 

    Web Views: 556
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