$5.1 million REPI Challenge Grant Awarded for Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape

The Defense Department funding will protect military readiness while conserving the Edwards Aquifer and providing willing landowners with financial assistance to preserve working lands located near the installation.

Today the Department of Defense announced $5.1 million in funding for Camp Bullis, a military training base located within Joint Base San Antonio, via the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program. The REPI program is a key tool for combating encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations.  The REPI program protects our military’s readiness by creating partnerships between military installations and local partners and stakeholders to reduce potential conflicts in land use.

The Defense Department is awarding the funding to the Compatible Lands Foundation (CLF), via the 2023 REPI Challenge, an initiative that focuses on advancing efforts to preserve key mission capabilities of strategic importance to DoD and that enhance resilience to climate change and severe weather events. The funding will leverage existing partnerships between CLF and the City of San Antonio, the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape, Great Springs Project, and other local organizations to protect military readiness while enhancing local efforts to safeguard the Edwards Aquifer.

The REPI Challenge award will achieve several objectives. It will advance the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape, a locally led partnership that seeks broad support for natural resources conservation around Camp Bullis and into the Texas Hill Country north of the rapidly growing metropolitan area of San Antonio. This award will also enable CLF and partners to work with willing local landowners to purchase conservation easements limiting development and maintaining existing land uses like farming or ranching. In addition, this funding will support existing local efforts to increase groundwater retention and capture in the Edward Aquifer, a major source of drinking water for San Antonio, surrounding communities, and Camp Bullis.

“The Compatible Lands Foundation is honored to receive this REPI Challenge funding to support the important work at Camp Bullis,” said Lt. Col (Ret.) Joe Knott, Executive Director of the Compatible Lands Foundation.  “Working with our partners, the funds will allow us to purchase conservation easements from willing landowners.  This is a triple win:  land owners are compensated for preserving open space, impacts to the Edwards Aquifer are reduced, and military readiness is protected.”

 Statements from Partners:

 “This award is a great opportunity to support private land stewardship, said Daniel Oppenheimer, Land Program Director, Hill Country Alliance and Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape Coordinator. “Good land stewardship benefits everyone that relies on groundwater and natural resources – the landowner, community, and Joint Base San Antonio. It’s a win-win.”

“Great Springs Project is honored to work with Compatible Lands Foundation in this incredible opportunity to increase conservation outcomes within the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape, protect the Edwards Aquifer, and enhance military readiness,” said Garry Merritt, Chief Executive Officer of Great Springs Project. 

Photo (L-R):

Anita Harless, Program Manager, Compatible Lands Foundation
Lyda Creus Molanphy, Strategic Engagement Officer, Great Springs Project
Rich King, Community Mission Integration Encroachment, Joint Base San Antonio
Dan Chapin, Director of Military Partnerships, Compatible Lands Foundation
Mr. Jeffrey Domm, Director, Installations Directorate, Air Force Civil Engineer Center
Daniel Oppenheimer, Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape Coordinator, Hill Country Alliance
Mary Nixon, REPI Program Manager, Air Force Civil Engineer Center
Joe Knott, Executive Director, Compatible Lands Foundation