Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan
The Fort Wainwright (FWA) Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) establishes policies, programs, prescriptions, projects and procedures that US Army Garrison Fort Wainwright (USAG-FWA) uses to manage natural resources on Army training lands in Alaska. The INRMP contains goals and specific objectives necessary to (1) sustain “no net loss” in the capability of military lands to support mission requirements, (2) support stewardship of natural resources, (3) ensure compliance with applicable environmental laws, and (4) maximize public access within the constraints of the military mission while protecting public safety and conserving the environment. The FWA INRMP reflects mutual agreement of USAG-FWA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) concerning the conservation of the natural resources under their respective legal authorities. The INRMP consolidates other related Army natural resource planning documents in one place, including the Ecosystem Management Plan, Integrated Wildland Fire Management Plan, Endangered Species Management Plan, Forestry Management Plan, Watershed Management Plan and Outdoor Recreation Management Plan. The INRMP also incorporates the applicable Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plans for Yukon and Donnelly Training Areas.
The initial FWA was signed and implemented in 1998. The FWA INRMP was revised in 2002 and again in 2007 due to substantial changes in natural resources management proposals, as well as agency, tribal and public stakeholder comment. Based on (1) no changes recommended during the annual 2012 review with USFWS and ADF&G, (2) no change in the FWA mission, (3) no changes to FWA natural resource policy, programs, prescriptions, or procedures, (4) no change to the type of projects proposed in the previous plan and (5) minor changes to the INRMP document itself, Fort Wainwright has concluded that an INRMP revision is not necessary and therefore FWA proposes to implement an INRMP update in 2013.
2013 INRMP UPDATE
USAG-FWA is updating the FWA INRMP in 2013 as required by the Sikes Act. Tribal and agency comment on the 2013 FWA INRMP update will be requested through the consultation process. Public comment is also welcome. Comments received prior to 15 April 2013 will be considered during the 2013 update. Comments received after 15 April 2013 will be considered during subsequent annual reviews. Minor changes from the previous version of the INRMP are proposed (see below).
PROPOSED CHANGES to the 2013 FWA INRMP
The 2013 FWA INRMP no longer applies to Fort Richardson. All references to natural resources management at Fort Richardson have been removed from the 2013 FWA INRMP. Due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005, Fort Richardson was realigned and is now part of Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER). As the lead service, the Air Force took over management of natural resources on Fort Richardson on 1 October 2010. Natural resources management of Fort Richardson lands are now included in the JBER INRMP.
Per Army guidance, the format of the 2013 FWA INRMP has changed. The prescriptions (which were in a separate appendix) were added to Chapter 4 of the Main plan. This format change did not result in any substantive changes to the programs, policies, prescriptions or procedures implemented in the 2007 INRMP.
Per Army guidance, the specific dates attached to the INRMP will be de-emphasized. The INRMP must be reviewed annually and evaluated for operation and effect at least once every 5 years, but if the policies, programs, procedures and practices do not change substantially, with agreement of the Sikes Act partners, the existing plan will remain in effect. Specific projects will be included in an appendix and will be updated annually as they are funded, implemented and completed but project updates will not require new signatures from the Army or its Sikes Act partners as long as those projects are the same project types analyzed in previous INRMPs and NEPA documentation.
The 2013 FWA INRMP incorporates changes made in the newly revised Fort Wainwright Regulation 190-13 “Conservation Program – Enforcement”.
The 2013 FWA INRMP incorporates all PL 106-65 BLM Resource Management Plan (applies to Yukon Training Area and Donnelly Training Area) actions.
The 2013 FWA INRMP adds a section on the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program.
The 2013 FWA INRMP includes a new Wildlife Air Strike Hazard (WASH) plan.
The 2013 FWA INRMP adds a new Unresolved Issues section which acknowledges ongoing activities or pending decisions outside the authority of the INRMP that may affect natural resources on Army lands.
Tanana River Bridge This INRMP update does not propose changes to public access or use in the Tanana Flats Training Area (TFTA). However, the construction of a dual-use railroad / military bridge across the Tanana River into TFTA is likely to result in new impacts to natural resources in TFTA. The analysis of the impacts of increased recreational use and the decision to allow or deny public access across the bridge was made in the Railroad Expansion EIS / Record of Decision.
Beaver Creek Road This INRMP update does not propose changes to public access on Beaver Creek Road through the Air Force’s AFTAC. However, The Air Force is currently working to update their license for use of the AFTAC that would permanently close Beaver Creek Road to recreational traffic.
INRMP REVIEW DEFINITIONS
a. Operation and Effect: The Sikes Act requires that an INRMP must be reviewed as to operation and effect by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the appropriate state wildlife agency (ADF&G) on a regular basis, but not less often than every five years. The Fort Wainwright INRMP was last formally reviewed for operation and effect in April 2007 resulting in agency signatures on the INRMP.
b. Review: DoDI 4715.03 requires that INRMPs be reviewed annually in cooperation with the other internal and external parties to the INRMP. This requirement does not mean that the INRMP necessarily needs to be revised or updated annually. Rather, the requirement emphasizes that the review is intended to determine whether existing INRMPs are being implemented to meet the Sikes Act requirements and contribute to the conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources on military installations.
(1) INRMP Revision: An INRMP that requires significant edits because of changes to mission or natural resources, comments received from a review for operation and effect, or other changes is considered an INRMP revision. INRMP revisions should be infrequent only occurring when the existing INRMP is determined to be inadequate, installation mission or physical features have changed significantly, newly listed species or species-at-risk at risk require significant changes to existing management practices, or if the construction or training tempo is dramatically increased. INRMP revisions require additional public and NEPA review.
(2) INRMP Update: An INRMP that requires minor edits to address new information or management priorities is considered an INRMP update. INRMP updates do not require additional public or NEPA review.
Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan