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Over the past few decades, military installations have experienced diminishing open space near their borders from suburban sprawl and other developments. Such encroachment pressures limit the ability to conduct mission-essential testing and training. Such development can also destroy or displace native plant and animal species, the result being that military installations become islands of refuge for threatened and endangered species, which can also restrict an installation’s operations. In 2003, DoD created the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) to help address such encroachment pressures. The REPI program helps installations implement compatible land use partnering projects with state and local governments and non-governmental organizations to protect non-military land, which helps relieve installation encroachment pressures. In this monograph, RAND researchers assessed the effectiveness of the REPI projects. The authors also identify the main causes of encroachment; detail the benefits, both to the military and local communities, of buffering areas near installations with REPI projects; and provide recommendations for how to improve REPI’s effectiveness.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Understanding the Encroachment Threat

  • Chapter Three

    How Encroachment Is Being Addressed

  • Chapter Four

    Methodology and Criteria for Assessing the Accomplishments of the Buffering Activities

  • Chapter Five

    Assessing Accomplishments Across All the Buffering Projects

  • Chapter Six


  • Chapter Seven

    Recommendations to Improve Military Conservation Buffering

  • Appendix A

    The Importance of Biodiversity

  • Appendix B

    An Assessment of Eglin AFB’s Buffering Activities

  • Appendix C

    An Assessment of Fort Carson’s Buffering Activities

  • Appendix D

    An Assessment of Fort Stewart’s Buffering Activities

  • Appendix E

    An Assessment of MCAS Beaufort’s Buffering Activities

  • Appendix F

    An Assessment of NAS Fallon’s Buffering Activities

  • Appendix G

    An Assessment of NAS Whiting Field’s Buffering Activities

  • Appendix H

    Background Information on Selected Buffering Projects

  • Appendix I

    The Land Price Trend Analysis

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the Acquisition and Technology Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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