2024 REPI Challenge Announcement – Permafrost Tunnel Final

Compatible Lands Foundation receives a $156,000 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration 2024 Challenge award from the Department of Defense to support the long-term operation of the Army Corps of Engineer’s Permafrost Tunnel located in Fox, Alaska.
The Army’s Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility (PTRF) is a unique scientific research and military readiness facility serving DOD installations and missions in Alaska and the Arctic region.  The PTRF is an $18.5 million DOD asset vital to continued operations and research in Alaska; benefitting the U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Alaska and 11th Airborne Division in the execution of its Arctic missions, as well as other military branches and federal agencies.  The PTRF provides research and testing for continued Arctic training and operations, vital for national defense.

    North Tunnel Intersection

Due to a changing climate; changes in water drainage patterns upslope of the tunnel infrastructure presents a risk to the long-term sustainment of the PTRF.  Water infiltrating the ground and into the tunnel could degrade and destabilize the permafrost, jeopardizing its usefulness and research capabilities and creating the potential for collapse.  Coupled with the potential for incompatible development on adjacent properties which would exacerbate permafrost destabilization; protection of the PTRF is at a critical point.

Participating Partners include U.S. Army Garrison Alaska, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the State of Alaska.

The REPI Challenge is a competition with dedicated funding for conservation partners to advance project outcomes outside installations and ranges through large-scale innovation, conservation, and climate resilience actions.  From its pilot project in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, the REPI Program designed the REPI Challenge for partners and installations to cultivate innovative projects that harness creativity and protect critical testing and training capabilities.  Since FY 2012, the REPI Program has distributed over $169 million in program funds to REPI Challenge projects in 62 locations.  REPI Challenge projects have leveraged more than $474 million in partner contributions that promote compatible land use, enhance military installation resilience, and relieve current or anticipated environmental restrictions on military testing, training, or operations in areas of strategic importance.