The Natural Resource Program oversees compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Sikes Act. The goal of the program is to effectively balance the requirements of the Army's training mission with its natural resource responsibilities.
Of the 400 federally listed threatened and endangered species in Hawaii, the Natural Resources Program is responsible for managing over 100, including plants, snails, birds, bats, insects and their critical habitat. All of these species are only found within the Hawaiian Islands, many only on a single island, some restricted to certain mountain ranges on an island, and many only on Army lands on Oahu or Hawaii Island.
The endangered plants managed by the Natural Resources Program represent some of the planet's rarest - some having less than 50 individual plants left in the world. Through its efforts, the Natural Resources Program has helped save 2 species from going extinct.
The Natural Resources Program applies an ecosystem-based approach to managing its training lands to ensure species and the habitat to support them are restored and protected now and in the future. The program grows both endangered and common native plant species and outplants over 2,000 of them back into the wild each year.
Protecting our Natural Resources
The greatest threat to the species caused by military training is fire. Hawaii's sensitive ecosystems are not evolved to exist with frequent fires, therefore, when natural areas burn, aggressive invasive grasses are able to invade and take over. Once taken over, it is almost impossible, with current technology, to take the native forest back.
For this reason, the Natural Resources Program has worked cooperatively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army's Wildland Fire Program to minimize and mitigate the impacts of Army caused fires on natural areas.
>> If you see a fire while training, immediately alert Range Control Operations at (808) 655-1434.
Smoking is only allowed in designated areas and there are very strict restrictions on the types of ammunition that can be used under the different burn indices. It is every Soldier's and staff member's responsibility to be familiar with the policy regarding use of different ammunition on the different ranges and within the different burn indices.
If a fire is caused by unauthorized use of ammunition on a range, training could be stopped indefinitely and the Soldier or staff responsible for starting the fire can be held personally liable for a fine of $50,000 for each individual endangered or threatened species impacted by the fire (i.e. 10 individuals=$500,000 fine).
Prevent the Spread of Alien Species
The second greatest threat to the natural resources on Army lands is the spread of new invasive species. Non-native invasive species are a leading threat to our nation's rich biodiversity, as well as to national security, the economy, and human health.
Invasive species have a direct negative impact on our ability to realistically train soldiers and cost the Department of Defense millions of dollars each year in control efforts.
By practicing common sense best management practices, we can help stop the spread of invasive species from one training area or one island to another.
- Invasive, non-native plans (weeds) aggressively compete for nutrients, water and sunlight with native plants.
- Always wash your boots, gear and equipment before starting new training activities. All vehicles are required to be washed prior to moving between training areas and islands.
- Seibert stakes are placed along roads within vegetated areas to advise personnel of unsafe or hazardous range or training conditions and/or environmentally sensitive off-limit areas. Anyone in that area should not proceed past the Seibert stake.
In addition to links below, all Oahu natural resources related records can be found in the Natural Resource Program Manager's Files in Bldg. 1123, Schofield Barracks West Range. All Hawaii Island natural resources related records can be found in the Biologist's Files at Bldg. T-93, Pohakuloa Training Area.
- Federal Endangered Species Act (1973 as amended)
- Sikes Act (as amended through 2003)
- Marine Mammal Protection Act (as amended 2007)
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act (as amended 1998)
- Federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (1934)
- AR 200-1: Environmental Protection and Enhancement, Chapter 4-3 (Dec. 13, 2007)AR 200-1: Environmental Protection and Enhancement, Chapter 4-3 (Dec. 13, 2007)AR 200-1: Environmental Protection and Enhancement, Chapter 4-3
- Executive Order 13112 Deals with Invasive Species on Federal lands
Biological Opinions are issued as a result of a formal Endangered Species Act Consultation under Section 7 between the Army and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
These documents detail avoidance and minimization and conservation measures which the Army
implements to comply with the Endangered Species Act.
- 1978 Palila Critical Habitat Biological Opinion, Pohakuloa Training Area
- 1981 Pohakuloa Training Area Biological Opinion
- 1982 Biological Opinion for 25th Infantry Division Field Training Exercises at Pohakuloa Training Area1982 Biological Opinion for 25th Infantry Division Field Training Exercises at Pohakuloa Training Area
- 1983 Biological Opinion for Reconsultation on Palila Critical Habitat at Pohakuloa Training Area
- 1997 Biological Opinion on Addition of Firing Lanes at Pohakuloa Training Area Range 8
- 2003 Biological Opinion for Routine Military Training and Transformation, Island of Hawaii
- 2003 Biological Opinion for Routine Military Training and Transformation, Island of Oahu
- 2007 Reinitiation of the Biological Opinion for U.S. Army Military Training at Makua Military Reservation, Island of Oahu
- 2008 Amendment of the Biological Opinion for Military Training at Makua Military Reservation
- 2008 Reinitiation of Formal Section 7 Consultation for Additional Species and New Training Actions at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii
- 2013 Pohakuloa Training Area Biological Opinion
- Pohakuloa Training Area
The Army has an active volunteer program. Activities are chosen based on seasonal needs such as:
- Controlling invasive weeds
- Planting native plants
- Collecting and sowing native seeds
Please note: Most service trips involve up to two hours of hiking on moderately difficult terrain that can include some steep slopes. Trips are full days, running from 7-9 hours depending on the activities. Children must be at least 14 years old and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Children are not allowed to use herbicide (used for weeding).
If you are interested in helping protect the native forest and exploring areas of Oahu otherwise inaccessible to the general public, please contact us at (808) 656-7741.
Events & Presentations
The Natural Resources Program offers information highlighting Oahu's native plants and animals, current natural resource management techniques and career opportunities. Call (808) 656-7741 to have the Natural Resources Program participate in school presentations, career fairs or other community events.
Ecosystem Management Program Bulletin
The Ecosystem Management Program Bulletin is designed to educate the public and the military community about the unique resources on Army-managed lands and the Army's efforts to conserve them.
The bulletin is published annually.
- Army Environmental Command
- Big Island Invasive Species Committee
- Conserving Biodiversity on Military Lands ⚠
- Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species ⚠
- Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
- Hawaii Conservation Alliance ⚠
- Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
- Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership ⚠
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Islands Regional Office
- Oahu Invasive Species Committee ⚠
- Pacific islands Climate Change Cooperative ⚠
- The Nature Conservancy Hawaii ⚠
- Trust for Public Lands ⚠
- University of Hawaii Annual Reports and Researches ⚠
- University of Hawaii Botany Department ⚠
- University of Hawaii Center for Conservation Research and Training ⚠
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region
- Environmental Topics from A to Z
- Environmental Compliance Officer Training