Looking Back at 2023 and Ahead to 2024

At this time of year as we look ahead to planning for our impact in 2024, we also want to pause to reflect and give thanks to the many partners and people who supported the work of Compatible Lands Foundation in 2023.

Since 2009, Compatible Lands Foundation has worked tirelessly with our partners in the military services, willing landowners, and committed stakeholders, to protect military readiness and resilience through land conservation near military installations and training ranges.

Currently, CLF is the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program Partner for seventeen military installations across ten states, from northern Alaska to southern Florida, Arizona to Tennessee and Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Washington, and Utah. We are honored to work with willing landowners across the United States to help protect military readiness while preserving working lands and open space.  To date, CLF holds 126 REPI conservation easements near military installations and protects in perpetuity nearly 35,760 acres across the nation.

Key highlights of 2023 include:

1.  Adding two new REPI Partnerships in northern Alaska, one with the Air Force at Eielson Air Force Base, and the other with the Army at Fort Wainwright.

2.  Adding our second REPI Partnership with the Marine Corps, this one at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and our first REPI Partnership with the Air Force Reserve at Homestead Air Reserve Base in southern Florida.

3.  Significantly increased hiring of additional staff, doubling the number of CLF professional staff.

Left to right: Nikki Houston, Financial Manager; Mike Bennett, Grants and Outreach Program Manager; Larry Dotson, Joint Base San Antonio Program Manager; Riley Bennett, Executive Assistant; Jim Cannizzo, REPI Program Legal Advisor; Mollie Walton, Climate Resilience & Natural Infrastructure Professional; Tim Melnick, Alaska Assistant Program Manager.

4.  Added two new Governing Board members; Cynthia Bauer and Brigadier General (BG) Michaelle Munger.

Cynthia Bauer

BG Munger

5.  Continuing our mutually beneficial partnership with the US Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service, (USDA-NRCS), conserving hundreds of acres of critically important working lands in Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah.

6.  DoD awarding over $5.1M in REPI Challenge funding for our Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape REPI partnership.

7.  A partnership with the State of Washington, including the Washington Department of Commerce’s Defense Community Compatibility Account (DCCA) providing CLF with $2.5M to help fund our REPI partnership at Fairchild Air Force Base.

8.  Continuing our fourth year of serving Veterans in need through our partnership with the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, along with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, via our Veterans’ Farming Education And Training (FEAT) facility.

9.  Protected military readiness and resilience by closing on six projects at four installations in Alaska, Kentucky, Texas, and Utah.  The REPI program contributed $3.7 million to purchase 715.5 acres using $1.2 million in partner match.

  1.  Started two Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Healthy Forest Reserve Program projects in Mississippi.  Approximately three-hundred and twenty acres of forestland resources will be restored, enhanced, and protected utilizing $320 thousand of funding from NRCS and $320 thousand worth of partner match.

11.  Mitigated Climate Change by sequestering an additional 5,320 metric tons of carbon through our Improved Forest Management carbon project in Mississippi.

CLF is tremendously grateful for the knowledge and skill of our colleagues at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, the Army Environmental Command, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Marine Corps Installations Command.  We also appreciate the tremendous support we received in 2023 from the USDA-NRCS in Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah.

As always, we feel fortunate to work with the many landowners who trust us with protecting their land and ensuring that it will remain protected in perpetuity. By working together, we are ensuring the conservation of land and protection of open space for future generations.

And finally, to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, both past and present, and their family members: thank you for your sacrifice and for protecting our freedom. You motivate and inspire our work every day.

As always, we appreciate your support and continued interest in our work. For additional information on CLF, please visit us at: www.compatiblelands.org.