Invasive Species on Military Bases
Corry Westbrook, Kindra Ramos, Monica La
Under Siege: Invasive Species on Military Bases
The Department of Defense manages more than 400 major installations that encompass 25 million acres of land. Natural resource managers are challenged not only to be responsible stewards of these lands but to do so in a way that supports the mission on their installation. While the challenge for managing invasive species on military land falls to them, the impacts of the problem can be felt throughout the installation.
This report examines some of the costs and damages that invasive species have imposed on the Defense Department. It is not meant to be an inventory of all the problems the Defense Department faces in association with invasive species. Rather, it presents a sampling of the problems, highlights areas of success and programs that are works in the progress, and indentifies significant gaps that need to be addressed.
Through 12 case studies, the impacts of invasive species on military land are examined for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps installations. The report finds that invasive species affect military lands in four primary ways:
- Invasive species negate realistic conditions for training or testing operations and/or directly limit training activities.
- Invasive species management escalates training and operations costs.
- As a leading cause of habitat destruction and biodiversity loss, invasive species can further reduce available training land.
- In some cases, invasive species pose a security risk and/or create potentially life threatening situations.
Download the Under Siege report