This Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) is for Fort Bliss and the United States Department of the Army (U.S. Army) in accordance with the Sikes Act Improvement Act, Department of Defense (DoD) Instruction and Manual 4715.03 Natural Resources Conservation Program, U.S. Army Regulation 200-1, Environmental Protection and Enhancement, U.S. Army Strategy for the Environment: Sustain the Mission-Secure the Future. INRMP direction is by a recent series of Department of Defense and Department of the Army guidance memoranda on the Sikes Act and INRMPs. The purpose of this INRMP is to provide guidance for the implementation and management of natural resources on Fort Bliss during the 5-year period from 2015 through 2019. This INRMP uses an integrated, adaptive, ecosystem management approach for sustainability and consistency with the military missions on Fort Bliss. The DoD with the assistance of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the states of New Mexico and Texas are responsible under the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a-670f, as amended) for carrying out programs and implementing management strategies to conserve and protect biological resources on Fort Bliss lands. Implementation of this INRMP is imperative for increasing mission capabilities, minimizing military training constraints and maintaining maximum flexibility.
Integrated natural resources management in an ecosystem framework promotes water quality, soil productivity and recreational uses of natural resources and protection of biological diversity across Fort Bliss while allowing military training access to the resources needed to maintain a high degree of combat readiness. Effective sustainable use of natural resources accomplishes no net loss in the capability of the installation to support the military mission.
Fort Bliss is a multi-mission U.S. Army installation situated on approximately 1.12 million acres in Texas and New Mexico. Of that total land area, 11 percent of the installation is in El Paso County in west Texas, and the remaining 89 percent is in south-central New Mexico in Doña Ana and Otero counties. Fort Bliss consists of the Main Cantonment Area, which is composed of the Main Post, William Beaumont U.S. Army Medical Center, Logan Heights, and Biggs U.S. Army Airfield; Castner Range; and the Fort Bliss Training Center, which is composed of three large geographic segments: the South Training Areas, Doña Ana Range-North Training Areas and McGregor Range.
This INRMP provides Fort Bliss with a description of the installation and its surrounding environments and presents various management practices designed to mitigate negative impacts and enhance the positive effects of the installation’s mission on regional ecosystems. These practices complement the requirements of Fort Bliss to accomplish its mission at the highest possible level of efficiency. To obtain an accurate assessment of Fort Bliss’s environmental impact, environmental analyses were completed first to determine the physical and biotic nature of the installation and its surroundings and then to determine the impacts of the operational activities taking place upon the natural environment.
This INRMP is a practical guide for the management, sustainment and stewardship of all natural resources present on Fort Bliss thus helping to insure no net loss in mission capabilities. This INRMP uses an interdisciplinary approach whereby scientific information compiles from a variety of sources.
This INRMP represents a revision of the 2001 INRMP, reviews the natural resources activities undertaken at Fort Bliss since implementation of the 2001 INRMP and proposes new projects and initiatives for the years 2015 through 2019. This revised INRMP includes the guidelines provided by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in August 2006 (Table 2.3-6), procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department of Defense Manual, Number 4715.03 (DoD 2013) and strives to fully integrate and coordinate the natural resources program with other Fort Bliss plans and activities.
This INRMP establishes goals that represent a long-term vision for the health and quality of Fort Bliss natural resources. From these goals, objectives and management actions have been identified that follow DoD and USFWS guidance. The INRMP goals and management actions revise over time to reflect changing missions and environmental conditions. Actions proposed in this INRMP are subject to NEPA compliance. Fort Bliss has completed several recent Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) as the Army mission for Fort Bliss has evolved and these programmatic documents include analyses of natural resources management actions proposed herein. Recent EIS documents that affect Fort Bliss include: Fort Bliss Texas and New Mexico Mission and Master Plan Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, 2000; Fort Bliss Texas and New Mexico Mission and Master Plan Final Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, 2007; and the Fort Bliss Army Growth and Force Structure Realignment Final Environmental Impact Statement, 2010.
The Fort Bliss INRMP is a source of environmental and natural resources information for preparers of new EISs and Environmental Assessments (EA). Any future changes in mission, training activities or technology must follow NEPA guidance for analyzing impacts on natural resources and would likely require new EAs or EISs.
Fort Bliss monitors the management strategies described in this INRMP so that modifications can be made as conditions change. This INRMP undergoes internal, NEPA and interagency review on a regular basis to ensure compliance and integration with other installation management plans including Army guidance and regulations and state and federal natural resources conservation plans.
This INRMP was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These agencies are partners with the US Army and Fort Bliss for the conservation of endangered, threatened, sensitive plant, and animal species that occur on Fort Bliss. These agencies are stakeholders and signators for this INRMP along with Installation Command and indicate their consent for the natural resources management program as outlined herein on Fort Bliss.