By Jodi Peterson
A new edition of an important handbook for supporting biodiversity on Department of Defense lands is available. “Conserving Biodiversity on Military Lands: A Guide for Natural Resource Managers” first appeared in 1996, produced by The Nature Conservancy. In 2008, The Nature Conservancy and NatureServe released an updated edition. Now, a third edition has been completed by CEMML in collaboration with NatureServe. The original handbook and revisions were funded by the DoD Legacy Program, which funds DoD-wide efforts to preserve our natural and cultural heritage. The handbook provides natural resource managers and other conservation professionals with the latest strategies, tools, and data to help them preserve the vast variety of species and ecosystems found on military lands. This third edition, released in winter 2022, also contains 10 case studies detailing successful projects at various installations.
CEMML Project Manager David Jones and former CEMML associate director Jim Zeidler collaborated with NatureServe to propose the revised edition in 2019. Jones then collaborated with a project team on the handbook’s organization and content, reviewed early versions, and wrote three chapters. Three of the case studies in the new edition highlight CEMML projects: fighting invasive species on Guam, protecting federally listed species in Hawaii, and restoring Hawaii’s state bird, the nene. “The handbook pulls together important information and practical examples from a broad DoD perspective, and provides some retrospective on how things have evolved over time,” said Jones. The updated handbook includes insights from biodiversity conservation professionals such as installation natural resource managers, non-governmental organizations, conservation professionals, academia, and state and federal agencies.