1. The Bald Eagle is present at a number of U.S. military sites including Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland which is a prime nesting area. Fort Riley in Kansas is one of the largest wintering spots for the bald eagle in the U.S., with up to 388 eagles observed in camp at a time.
2. Potential habitat for the marbled murrelet exists in of the last remaining stands of low-elevation Sitka spruce, at the U.S. Naval Radio Station at Jim Creek, Washington. The Navy owned the land but not the logging rights and extensive logging occurred until 1990, when the Navy purchased the rights in order to preserve 225 acres containing Sitka and western red cedars up to 1,500 years old.
3. Human encroachment and its attendant trash has made the Mojave Desert more attractive to ravens, which love to feast on young tortoises. Combined with military’s use of the land for training purposes, the effect on the Mojave Desert Tortoise has been severe. Restoration of the population involves a coordinated effort partnering with UCLA, including a captive-rearing program initiated at Edwards Air Force Base.
4. Some of the largest remaining nesting sites of the California Least Tern are located in the San Diego Bay. As lead agency in a conservation plan and host for nesting colonies on three of its bases, the U.S. Navy coordinates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Port Authority, and the private shipping industry.
5. The West Indian Manatee was falling victim to the propellers of U.S. Navy’s powerful C-tractor tugboats at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia until the early 1990’s, when the navy began to install propeller guards which not only protected the manatees but also improved efficiency. Now all tugs and other small vessels at Kings Bay have propeller guards. Other protective measures include speed limits, no-entry areas, and population monitoring in and around the bay.
6. At the U.S. Marines Corps base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the red-cockaded woodpecker is being protected through restoration of its longleaf pine habitat, monitoring of roosting and nesting areas, and population monitoring.
7. While not on the endangered species list, the California Red-Legged Frog is listed as a threatened species. The California National Guard at Camp San Luis Obispo has become a critical habitat for the frog due to nearby population encroachment and reservoir construction. Erosion control efforts along streams at the facility help protect the frog while also stabilizing land for its training mission.
8. The 53,000 acre Camp Ripley is home to the Minnesota National Guard and it also hosts a thriving population of the Gray Wolf. Camp Ripley was the first facility in the country to develop a gray wolf monitoring and tracking program.
9. 9. Habitat management consistent with military training goals can go a long way. The Regal Fritillary Butterfly, once near the endangered species list, is thriving at Fort Indiantown Gap. The Pennsylvania National Guard facility hosts the country’s single largest population of the butterfly and has protected its grassland habitat by relocating some mechanized exercises and converting others to virtual exercises.
The Army and Air Force are developing technology to turn trash into gas — and therefore cash — for the Department of Defense, the largest consumer of energy in the United States.
According to Pentagon figures, the Defense Department spent $13.6 billion for energy in 2006. It uses 340,000 barrels of oil a day, or 1.5 percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S.
Pentagon officials consider that dependency on oil — much of it produced abroad — not only a huge expense, but a national security risk as well.
The Armed Forces use 1.2 million barrels of oil each month in Iraq alone, and former CIA director James Woolsey, an energy adviser to the Pentagon, has estimated that it costs the U.S. $100 for every gallon, when the cost of maintaining supply lines and security is taken into account.
In December 2005, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directed his department to “do all it can” to save energy. He set up a task force headed by his deputy, Gordon England, and former Defense and Energy Secretary James Schlesinger.
The Air Force took the lead, winning an Environmental Protection Agency “Green Power” award in 2006 as one of the top 25 purchasers of green power.
It has since won four more energy awards, and is now the leading purchaser and user of wind energy in the United States.
Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada is powered by the largest solar-power array in the Americas — saving the government an estimated $1 million a year.
Dyess, Minot, and Fairchild Air Force bases purchase 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources of energy.
Airmen and their families have been using biomass fuel at Hill Air Force Base in Utah since 2004, thanks to a 1.3 megawatt landfill gas project. In other words, they are creating gas from the air base’s trash.
But saving money isn't the only reason for going green. Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer noted that 70 percent of U.S. military vehicles traveling on roads in Iraq's volatile Anbar province were oil tankers providing fuel for the troops, easy targets for roadside bombs. He requested that the Pentagon send generators that could convert trash into fuel to generate electricity, so that fewer oil trucks would be on the road.
Defense Life Sciences, based in McLean, Va., was given a contract to come up with a solution. It teamed with a group of researchers at Purdue University and developed two 4-ton “tactical bio-refineries” that they are preparing to send to Iraq next month. Each can run for 20 hours on a ton of trash — enough electricity to power a small village.
Organic garbage is fed into a reactor, in which it is fermented into ethanol. Then plastic, cardboard and other paper items are burned to create propane or methane. These elements are then combusted in a modified diesel engine to power a 60 kilowatt generator.
The prototype costs $1 million and is now ready to be tested in a war zone.