Camp Pendleton is taking great strides toward wildlife conservation > USMC Command > News Show

April is considered “Earth Month” all over the world. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton honors, protects, and preserves the Earth not just on this occasion, but every day of the year. Much land and resources are dedicated to preserving and nurturing the wildlife on board the facility.

The main force for combating land degradation and climate issues is known as the Department of Environmental Security. This department has a very diverse staff, ranging from logistical and environmental planners to 10 biologists managing coastal, coastal and upland species across the base, who also implement policies to mitigate habitat loss.

“It’s the job, and the responsibility, that drives the organization to help manage the natural resources that Camp Pendleton has,” said Melissa Vogt, a conservation law enforcement officer at Environmental Security. “Camp Pendleton is a biodiversity hotspot. Without Camp Pendleton, all this shoreline would be condos and hotels.”

“For any wildlife biologist working with threatened or endangered species, the ultimate goal is to take the animal off the list and make sure the species is doing well.” Nate Reditzky, Environmental Security Wildlife Biologist

The installation is home to 19 federally listed species and several state threatened or endangered species. One such species is the California Lease Turn, which is currently endangered. This bird lives on the California coast and is protected by the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan.

“The Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan, a combination of military priorities, natural resource management priorities, and outdoor recreation priorities, is a key document that outlines ways to help preserve this desert habitat,” Vogt said.
“This document is given to every commander conducting training on or near protected lands to ensure base viability.”

A large amount of Camp Pendleton’s budget is devoted to preservation because of the area of ​​protected land. If the installation is not properly protected, Camp Pendleton may lose the rights to continue training in certain areas.

“If an acre of land is disturbed, depending on the species, Camp Pendleton may be required to mitigate or even ten times the amount of land that cannot be used for training,” Nate said. Redetzke, a wildlife biologist in the Highland Management Division, Environmental Security. “When the Marine Corps wants or is required to create new courses, or move a course to another district, they must complete the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act process.”

Nature protection
Photo by Lance Cpl. Natalie Espetia

Located at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Lake O’Neill is a popular fishing and camping destination and is home to a variety of wildlife April 7, 2022. As a result of the Environmental Security Department of Pendleton taking over the responsibility to protect the environment and wildlife habitats, both mosquito catchers have been reduced In California, the kangaroo rat is from an endangered species to an endangered species. Protecting endangered habitats also allows Camp Pendleton to maintain the same training environment and quality training opportunities for Marine Corps operational forces.

The primary goals of NEPA are to ensure that agencies consider every aspect of the environmental impact of a proposed project, and to inform and engage the public of potential risks and their alternatives.

Through the processes of the Environmental Security Administration, Land Conservancy, Environmental Protection, and NEPA, two species aboard Camp Pendleton have been downgraded from endangered to critically endangered: the California kingfisher and kangaroo rat.

“For any wildlife biologist who works with threatened or endangered species, the ultimate goal is to take the animal off the list and make sure the species is doing well,” said Reditzky. “Camp Pendleton is very special. It is the quieter area between Los Angeles and San Diego. Nowhere else will there be such vast land where habitats can be restored to make them more beneficial to the local ecosystem.”

As a result of environmental security taking charge in protecting the environment, Camp Pendleton can maintain the same training environment and the same high-quality training opportunities it has for years to come. Camp Pendleton will always take measures to ensure it does not affect the training or lives of animals that thrive in some of their only remaining habits.

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