Sentinel Landscapes in the Southeast
Increased population growth and development, inadequate planning, climate change impacts, and other incompatible land uses threaten the ability of military installations to carry out their mission. In response to these growing challenges, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DoD), and the Interior (DOI) established the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership to strengthen military readiness, conserve natural resources, bolster agricultural and forestry economies, and increase climate change resilience.
The SERPPAS Sentinel Landscapes in the Southeast Work Group connects currently designated landscapes to address shared challenges, share lessons learned, and promote the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership’s mission in the Southeast. The Work Group disseminates information to developing partnerships and serves as a regional coordinating body between currently designated and future Sentinel Landscapes partnerships.
Sentinel Landscapes benefit the military mission and the other partner missions by promoting compatible land use near military installations; strengthening the economies of forests and farms surrounding military bases; improving coordination between the military services, local governments, and state and federal agencies; and encouraging state interest and prioritization of resources supporting military installations and surrounding communities.
- Continue to refine a shareable composite mission footprint map of the Southeast to better understand the DoD priority areas across the region, utilizing existing and promoting continued local planning efforts to identify where new Sentinel Landscapes Partnerships would be most valuable.
- Focus on promoting private landowner interests and explore innovative ways to increase the number and type of compatible land use tools to offer landowners to conserve working lands and promote resilience where appropriate.
- Leverage the ‘Power of SERPPAS’ to attract both financial and non-financial support to increase awareness and capacity for the implementation of Sentinel Landscapes designated in the Region.
- Assess and integrate other SERPPAS focus area objectives into implementation strategies for Sentinel Landscapes in the region, to create more conservation opportunities that support working lands, natural resources and military missions.
- Assist Sentinel Landscapes in the Southeast assess their climate exposures and vulnerabilities and integrate resilience planning and adaptation into their landscape implementation plans.
- Use the SERPPAS network to share information, resources and lessons learned of the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, as well as demonstrate the value and purpose of these partnerships.
Work Group Lead
Bruce BeardAssociate Director of Policy
Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute
Bruce Beard is the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute’s Associate Director for Policy and leads NRI’s Military Land Sustainability Program. Bruce brings more than 30 years of federal land management and natural resource policy experience to NRI and is a nationally recognized advocate for Sentinel Landscapes.
Bruce served within the Executive Office of the President at the Office of Management and Budget in three Administrations, where he was a principal advisor on federal land management and natural resource policy issues. He was the OMB Branch Chief for the Interior Branch responsible for coordination of budget, legislation and regulatory issues affecting the Department of the Interior. At the Department of Defense, he was instrumental in establishing the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program, which he directed, and helped to initiate the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership between the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and the Interior.
Bruce earned his Bachelor of Science in wildlife and fisheries from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Public Affairs in environmental policy from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He received the 2011 Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M and the 2012 Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service at the Department of Defense.
Request to Join Work Group
The 2023 Request for Proposals for the NFWF Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund is now open. The LLSF is a public-private partnership that expands, enhances, and accelerates longleaf pine ecosystem restoration across the historical longleaf range throughout the southeastern U.S. Approximately $16.9 million in grant funding is available to projects that restore, enhance, and maintain longleaf pine on private and public lands to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, with some funding also available for bottomland hardwood restoration.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Completes Gopher Tortoise Review: Eastern Portion of Species’ Range Does Not Currently Meet Criteria for Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached a final listing decision regarding the gopher tortoise after completing its review. USFWS has determined that the eastern population no longer meets the criteria for ESA listing and is withdrawing it as a candidate. The western population (western Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana) will retain its threatened status. State protections for the gopher tortoise remain in place range-wide. Partnerships between multiple state, federal, local, and NGO stakeholders contributed greatly to the
conservation of this species.
The REPI program recently announced $31.6 million in program funds for the 2022 REPI Challenge. Partners across the country will undertake nine projects benefitting 13 installations and their neighboring communities, leveraging nearly $60.3 million in partner contributions. One of the nine awarded REPI Challenge projects will benefit four military installations within the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape. The project will receive $4.3 million in funding from REPI and partner contributions to reduce wildfire risk, assess how climate change impacts RCW productivity, and manage and protect longleaf pine habitats.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive
Pew Charitable Trusts conducted an interview with REPI Program Director Kristin Thomasgard on how the military works with local communities to combat climate change and how the REPI Program’s work helps protect the environment.Visit the SERPPAS News Archive