- What is it?
The Army's Conservation Reimbursable and Fee Collection Program (CRFCP) provides supplemental non-appropriated natural resource management funding from three revenue producing activities: forest product sales; agriculture and grazing out leases; and hunting, fishing and trapping permit fee sales
- What has the Army done?
Forestry revenues are generated from the sale of forest products such as saw timber, pulp wood, poles, pine straw, and firewood. These revenues allow the US Army to manipulate the forestry landscape to sustain and enhance training lands. This is done through timber stand improvements, timber thinning, endangered species management, and prescribed burning. In fiscal year 2021, 23 Army IMCOM installations covering 1.2M acres, generated $12.5M in revenue and returned $9M to Army installations to support program execution. USACE districts also received $2M to administer most of the installation timber sales. States are entitled to 40 percent of the forestry revenue/obligation net balance to be used for roads and schools in the county where revenues are generated. In fiscal year 2021, $996K in states entitlements were distributed. The remaining balance of $590K was deposited into the Forest Reserve Account and is available in subsequent years for program unanticipated contingencies and additional natural resource projects.
Agricultural and Grazing Out Leases
Agricultural and grazing out leases fees support lease administration and natural resource project implementation. The farmers and ranchers that lease this land provide offset land maintenance cost and support special training requirements. In fiscal year 2021, 11 Army IMCOM installations covering 261K acres generated out lease revenue of $926K, and returned $584K to Army installations to support program execution. USACE districts received $249K to administer the leases. Permittees performed $900K in estimated in-kind services for performing work such as fence repair, road improvements, and erosion control. Leases also offset the cost of contract mowing.
Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping
Hunting, fishing, and trapping programs are used to promote opportunities for active and retired military personal and their families, plus civil service employees, and approved public. This program enhances the quality of life for Soldiers, Civilians, and the Community. It also helps to manage the wildlife populations on these installations. This program provides support to the Wounded Warriors Programs. Sikes Act fees are used for program administration and for natural resource project implementation at the installation where collected. In fiscal year 2021, 30 Army IMCOM installations covering 4M acres collected permit fees of $1.7M.
- What does the Army have planned?
The Army will continue to use the CRFCP Programs to provide natural resource funding that allows installations the ability to develop their own mission-scape and accomplish their military mission.
- Why is this important?
These programs exist to help support and enhance each participating installation’s training and testing lands as deployment and readiness platforms. Qualified natural resource management activities are reimbursable from CRFCP revenues generated at participating installations. This increases available natural resource funding.
The following legal statutes and policy guidance govern the operation of the Army Conservation Reimbursable and Fee Collection Programs. These statutes and guidance establish the legal authority to operate the programs, direct their operation, and guide the natural resource management of military installations.
Title 10 of the United States Code
Title 10 of the U.S. Code (USC) authorizes Army installations to harvest and sell timber, lease lands for agriculture and grazing, and operate hunting and fishing programs. Each program is addressed under a different section of the code: section 2665, forestry; section 2667, agriculture and grazing; and section 2671, hunting and fishing. The specific provisions of each section are outlined below.
10 USC 2665 – Sale of certain interest in land; logs. This section allows the President, through the Department of the Army (DA), to sell to any person or foreign government any forest products on land owned or leased by the Army. It provides that the Army will be reimbursed for all costs of production from the proceeds of the sale. This section also grants a 40-percent entitlement of net sale proceeds to the state or states in which the military installation is located. These entitlements will be used for public schools and roads. Section 2665 also established the DoD Forestry Reserve Account, which collects surplus funds from the sale of forest products. Installations of all the Services may apply for these funds, and section 2665 describes how the account balance may be used.
10 USC 2667 – Leases: Non-excess property of military departments. This section allows the Secretary of Army to lease lands not needed for the immediate military mission. The terms of the lease must be advantageous to the United States, promote the national defense, or be in the public interest. The Army retains monies received from Army agriculture and grazing leases and uses them to cover the administrative costs of outleasing and to finance multiple land use.
10 USC 2671 – Military reservations and facilities: hunting, fishing, and trapping. This section directs that hunting, fishing, and trapping on military installations comply with the fish and game laws of the state or territory in which the installation is located. Individuals must obtain appropriate state and installation licenses. This section also requires that state fish and game agencies, subject to reasonable safety and security restrictions, may be given access to installations to implement measures for the management, conservation, and harvesting of fish and game resources.
The Sikes Act
The Sikes Act, passed in 1960 and subsequently amended, was and remains a major influence on Army natural resource management policies and programs. The act directs the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program for the conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources on military installations. This is primarily accomplished through the mandatory preparation of individual installation integrated natural resources management plans (INRMPs). The INRMPs, prepared cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and state fish and game agencies, must ultimately reflect the mutual agreement of all parties. Timber sales and outleases must be consistent with INRMPs. To the extent practicable and appropriate, INRMPs must, among other things, provide for the following:
- Management of land, forests, fish and wildlife, and fish and wildlife-oriented recreation
- Wetland protection and enhancement
- Fish and wildlife protection and enhancement
- Sustainable public use of natural resources and public access for such use
- No net loss of the capability of the installation to support the military mission
The Sikes Act also includes specific provisions for the hunting and fishing program. Under the Sikes Act, installations are given the authority to issue hunting and fishing permits to individuals and to collect permit fees. Installations are to retain the permit fees and use the revenue for the protection, conservation, and management of fish and wildlife in accordance with the INRMP (previously called the cooperative plan). The act also stipulates that the sale of forest products and the leasing of lands for agriculture and grazing must be compatible with the installation's INRMP.
The Sikes Act Improvement Act of 1997 (SAIA) also reinforces the autonomy given to the installation commanders by providing the authority to "collect, spend, administer, and account for fees" for the hunting and fishing programs. The law requires that the fees be used to protect, conserve, and manage fish and wildlife and that the INRMP prescribe the specific use of fees. In addition, the SAIA maintains the requirement that land or forest products may not be sold or leased unless the sale or leasing is compatible with the INRMP.
Updated guidance on the implementation of the SAIA was issued by DoD in October 2002, with a subsequent update issued in November 2004. The guidance includes attachments that define coordination, reporting, implementation, and miscellaneous requirements of the SAIA to ensure consistent implementation of the SAIA throughout DoD. The 2004 supplemental guidance addresses INRMP review and coordination.
Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation 7000.14-R, Volume 11A, Chapter 16 (March 1997). This Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation (DoDFMR) provides policy, prescribes procedures, and assigns responsibility for the accounting, production, and sale of forest products. It also provides procedures for the reimbursement of program costs, the entitlement of states to share in the net proceeds derived from the selling of forest products, and the operation of the DoD Forestry Reserve Account.
Department of Defense Instruction 4715.03, Natural Resources Conservation Program (March 2011). Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 4715.3 states that, "consistent with mission requirements, actions should support multiple-use (e.g., outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, forestry, agricultural leasing) and sustainable development by meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations." DoDI 4715.3 requires that installation lands be reviewed for their suitability for commercial forestry and agricultural outlease. Such uses must:
- Be compatible with the military mission
- Be consistent with long-term ecosystem management goals
- Maintain threatened and endangered species protection, biodiversity, native-plant landscaping, watershed protection, wildlife enhancement, outdoor recreation, and natural beauty.
Army Regulation 200-1, Environmental Protection and Enhancement (13 December 2007) This regulation implements federal, state, and local environmental laws and DoD policies for preserving, conserving, and restoring the environment. AR 200-1 supersedes AR 200-3, Natural Resources-Land, Forest and Wildlife Management (28 February 1995). This regulation should be used in conjunction with 32 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 651 (32 CFR 651),which provides Army policy on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 USC 4321-4347) requirements, and supplemental program guidance, which the proponent of that regulation may issue as needed to assure that programs remain current.
32 CFR 651, Environmental Analysis of Army Actions (29 March 2002). The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains the general and permanent rules established by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government. 32 CFR 651 supersedes AR 200-2, Environmental Effects of Army Actions (23 December 1988). AR 200-2 implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and establishes policy, procedures, and responsibilities for assessing environmental effects of Army actions. The regulation requires that an environmental analysis be conducted for new management and operational concepts and programs at Army installations, including environmental programs and plans. Leases, easements, permits, licenses, or other entitlements for use, such as agriculture and grazing outleases, must also be evaluated. The Army’s NEPA procedures also outline provisions for categorical exclusions (CXs), environmental assessments (EAs), and environmental impact statements (EISs).
Army Regulation 215-1, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Activities and Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities (24 September 2010). This regulation outlines how the Installation Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund (IMWRF) process and procedures relate to the use of Army property for hunting and fishing. AR 215-1, chapter 7, section 5, addresses the handling of hunting and fishing fees. AR 215-1, chapter 8, section 18, guides the installation on use of a hunting and fishing program with the IMWRF program. In addition to hunting or fishing license fees, an additional IMWRF fee can be charged by the installation. However, this additional fee cannot be so high that it would limit public access to Army lands.
Army Regulation 405-80, Management of Title and Granting Use of Real Property (10 October 1997). This regulation states the policy for management of title, unauthorized use, and the granting of use of Army-controlled real property. Real property is defined in the regulation as any interest in land, together with the improvements, structures and fixtures, under the control of the Army. Interests include leaseholds, easements, rights-of-way, water rights, and air rights. Standing timber, embedded gravel and stone, and underground water are also considered real property. As it pertains to the conservation reimbursable and fee collection programs, this regulation provides requirements for agriculture and grazing outleases, including the identification of potential available property, reports of availability (a list of installation lands available and suitable for agriculture and grazing outleases, also known as ROAs), management responsibilities, and the delegation of authority. The types of issued outgrants, or legal documents that grant the right to use Army real property, include leases, easements, licenses, and permits. According to AR 405-80, the Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the USACE Director of Real Estate are delegated the authority to issue, execute, manage, renew, supplement, or revoke outgrants. They may redelegate this authority as appropriate. DA real property is periodically surveyed to determine the current use of the property, the degree of use, any interim or collateral use that could improve management, and the properties excess to Army needs.
Army Regulation 405-90, Disposal of Real Estate (10 May 1985). This regulation sets forth authorities, responsibilities, policies, and procedures for the disposal of military and industrial real estate under the custody and control of the DA. The General Services Administration delegates to the DA the authority to determine surplus real property and dispose of it. This includes standing timber. According to this regulation, while installations are responsible for forestry management, the USACE district commanders are responsible for selling timber. However, on June 9, 2004, the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9 issued army guidance for timber sales that allows installations to sell timber independent of the USACE (see description of Army Guidance: Procedures for Installation-Conducted Timber Sale, below). An exception is that, unless otherwise agreed, the Bureau of Land Management disposes of timber on withdrawn public lands used by the DA.
Army Policy Guidance
Regulatory Guidance: Reimbursable Agricultural/Grazing and Forestry Programs (August 1999). This guidance explains that reimbursable agricultural/grazing and forestry activities are opportunities for planning and managing the landscape to fit the needs of the mission. It provides explanation of responsibilities for implementation for Agricultural and Grazing Outleasing and Reimbursable Forestry activities, as well as identifying uses of generated revenue.
Policy Guidance: Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund (January 2002). This guidance states that the purpose of the fish and wildlife conservation fund is the conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources on military installations and the sustainable multipurpose use of the resources, including hunting, fishing, and trapping. The guidance outlines program responsibilities, expenditure of funds, the funding authorization process, program management, reporting, and procedures for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) installations.
Army Guidance: Procedures for Installation-Conducted Timber Sales (June 2004). This guidance authorizes installations to conduct timber sales independent of the USACE. The guidance describes the purpose of the conservation reimbursable forestry program, applicable laws and policies, personnel responsibilities, and program requirements. The guidance also includes procedures for methods of disposal, predisposal planning, receipt and review of bids, contract award and administration, operations planning, collection and accounting of proceeds and expenses, and monitoring and inspections.
Army Wildland Fire Policy Guidance (September 2002). This guidance requires that all "installations with unimproved grounds that present a wildfire hazard and/or installations that utilize prescribed burns as a land management tool will develop and implement an Integrated Wildland Fire Management Plan (IWFMP) that is integrated with the INRMP, the installation’s existing fire and emergency service program plan(s), and the Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP)." The purpose of the IWFMP is to reduce wildfire potential, effectively protect and enhance valuable natural resources, integrate applicable state and local permit and reporting requirements, and implement ecosystem management goals and objectives on Army installations. The policy requires that the IWFMP be reviewed and updated annually and revised at least once every five years. The guidance outlines 15 components of IWFMPs and describes program authority for fire management. The guidance also includes certification, training, and fitness standards for wildland fire management personnel.
Memorandum from the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Environment), Army Forest Conservation Policy (October 2000). This memorandum calls for all Army leaders to assure Army forests, grasslands, wetlands and deserts are managed as national assets, while fully implementing the principles of ecosystem management, which will also enhance the military mission.
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