At-Risk, Threatened, and Endangered Species
Military installations provide important habitat for populations of federally listed and at-risk species. These species can and do impact training and testing on military installations because of Federal agency responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At-Risk species are defined as species which have been proposed for listing* by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), designated as candidate species by the Service or which the Service has been petitioned to list under the ESA.
The SERPPAS At-Risk, Threatened and Endangered Species Work Group collaborates with federal, state, and other partners to develop and promote innovative strategies for conservation of at-risk and listed species and increase flexibility for addressing impacts to both military missions and listed species. These approaches include conservation agreements, mitigation credit strategies, and projects to increase status information of at-risk species to inform Service listing decisions and to support partner efforts for the overall conservation and recovery of these species.
These efforts promote and support ecosystem restoration, maintenance, and monitoring on and off military installations to enhance the conservation of at-risk and listed species; increase flexibility for on-installation training and testing; and increase regulatory predictability for military services, other federal and state agencies, and private landowners who engage in proactive conservation.
*Proposed for listing means the Service has proposed a draft rule in the Federal Register to list the species as threatened or endangered under the ESA; however, a final listing decision has not been made.
- Identify focal species and funding opportunities to promote the implementation of programs that conserve, manage, and support recovery of listed species and provide direct benefits to military installations (both on and off installations) and SERPPAS partners. This could include but is not limited to habitat and multi-species crediting strategies.
- Identify opportunities to proactively conserve at-risk species populations or habitat that are important to SERPPAS in a manner that would preclude the need to list a species. This could include but is not limited to Candidate Conservation Agreements, and Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances.
- Use existing geospatial information, such as the SERPPAS Good Map and SECAS layer to enhance, improve and/or make functional corridors for wildlife with an eye to climate resilience, and to enhance and support larger conservation goals and Sentinel Landscapes.
- Share lessons learned and case studies on habitat management for unique lands and habitats, such as isolated wetlands or pollinator habitat, that challenge military operations and training and/or have the potential to benefit at-risk and listed species.
Work Group Lead
Dr. Rebecca Harrison (Lead)At-Risk Species Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Becky Harrison is the at-risk species coordinator for the Southeast region with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She has 25 years of experience in species conservation and adaptative management and has worked within diverse partner groups to create unified frameworks for strategic conservation planning and delivery.
She has degrees in Zoology and Wildlife Biology from Michigan State University (B.Sc.), Utah State University (M.Sc.) and North Carolina State University (PhD). Her post-doctoral work at University of Georgia was supported through a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. This research used the monarch butterfly as a model system of migration to investigate how animal movement patterns are influenced by infectious disease.
Becky joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 and has worked across programs including the South Atlantic Inventory & Monitoring Network, the National Wildlife Refuge System, Ecological Services, and Partners in Flight on collaborative conservation management projects across taxa including pollinators, red wolves, sea turtles, and migratory birds. She also serves as the species recovery lead for the endangered St. Francis satyr butterfly at Fort Bragg. She has collaborated with U.S. Army personnel, natural resource managers, and researchers on conservation management issues there since 2003. Her commitment to negotiating critical resource management decisions has recognized with several awards including the Secretary of the Interior’s Commendation award in 2017.
Lucas Cooksey (Co-Lead)Project Director
Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute
Lucas Cooksey is a project director for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, blending policy, planning, and practice into seamless programs that both sustain and enhance active land use alongside meaningful natural resource conservation.
With more than 20 years of experience in Natural Resources Management, his career includes appointments as a Park Ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving as the U.S. Army Fort Sam Houston & U.S. Air Force Joint Base San Antonio – Natural Resource Program Manager, the Senior Natural Resource Specialist for the U.S. Army Environmental Command, and the Natural Resources Program Manager for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Headquarters, where he lead the conservation programs on over 75 Army Installations throughout the U.S and abroad.
His development of innovative projects that balance ecosystem management and military readiness have been recognized by receiving the Texas Parks & Wildlife “Lonestar Land Steward Award” in 2010 and the Secretary of the Army “Civilian Service Commendation Medal” in 2020.
Lucas attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Range and Wildlife Management and then obtained a Master’s Degree in Biology from Texas State University-San Marcos.
Request to Join Work Group
SERPPAS ARTE Work Group Focal Species List - This list has been compiled by the SERPPAS At-risk, Threatened and Endangered Species work group. It is intended to help partners understand and identify possible overlapping at-risk species priorities in the SERPPAS region. This list is purely informational and does not inherently indicate action.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and NOAA announced $144 million in new grants to support natural infrastructure projects in 31 coastal states and U.S. territories. These grants will support design and implementation of projects to enhance the resilience of coastal communities and improve habitat for fish and wildlife across the U.S. The 109 grants announced today will generate more than $97 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $242 million.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to voluntarily restore, enhance and conserve longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood forests within the historical longleaf pine range. The Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund is a funding opportunity for on-the-ground conservation projects. This RFP is a public-private partnership supported with Federal funding from USDA’s Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and private funding from Altria Group, International Paper’s Forestland Stewards Partnership and Southern Company. Approximately $30 million in grant funds is expected to be available in 2024, another program record funding level thanks to a second-year major contribution from the Bezos Earth Fund and increased funding from NRCS.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative is thrilled to announce the release of the Range-wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine (2025-2040)! This second iteration of the Conservation Plan guides the continued efforts to reach the goal of eight million acres of longleaf pine forest in the Southeast. While our strategies and objectives are updated for the next 15 years, the vision of America’s Longleaf remains unchanged – to have functional, viable longleaf pine ecosystems with the full spectrum of ecological, economic, and social values inspired through a voluntary partnership of concerned, motivated organizations and individuals.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
On September 25, 2023, SERPPAS received the 2023 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies! SERPPAS was recognized in the “Broad Partnership” category for demonstrating exemplary leadership in reducing climate-related threats and promoting adaptation of the nation’s natural resources.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the addition of 446 acres to the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near Charleston, SC, a key acquisition that will boost wintering wetland habitat for migratory birds and recreational opportunities for bird lovers. The South Carolina land purchase was approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission chaired by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
USDA Announces Historic Investment in Wildlife Conservation, Expands Partnership to Include Additional Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is announcing that it will expand its work on wildlife conservation by investing at least $500 million over the next five years and by leveraging all available conservation programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program, through its Working Lands for Wildlife effort.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive