Officials from Fort Carson and the Nature Conservancy recently completed a nine-year effort to acquire conservation easements on 22,292 acres bordering the Colorado Springs, Colo., post, ensuring the installation can protect and sustain current and future training capabilities on range areas.
Conservation easements on the last piece of the puzzle, a 7,045-acre parcel on the Mountain Post’s southern and southeastern boundary, were acquired last month. The easements will allow Fort Carson to permanently maintain an approximately two-mile wide external buffer zone separating training ranges and communities adjacent to the southern end of the post, the installation’s public affairs office reported.
The effort was funded through the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program and DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative. ACUB links the interests of private landowners, conservation and military readiness through the voluntary purchase of conservation easements and land. To date, DOD has spent about $40 million on the effort at Fort Carson.
“Fort Carson is the largest DOD installation to achieve large-scale, demonstrable success for a buffer program,” said Col. Robert McLaughlin, Fort Carson garrison commander. “For commanders here on the ground, the purchase of these easements means we can continue to train our soldiers without the concern of restricted training due to development close to our boundaries down range.”