SOS, July 29, Ft. Bragg's Environmental Stance, Sou. Pines


On July 29, Save Our Sandhills will host Alan Schultz to speak about Fort Bragg’s commitment to conservation and wildlife management. Fort Bragg, initially constructed in 1918 in order to fulfill an essential role in our national security, has also evolved into an outstanding natural resource for the North Carolina Sandhills. Fort Bragg’s and Camp Mackall’s 160,000 acres (they are managed as one) comprise only a fraction of the nation’s Department of Defense lands. Nevertheless, the Fort’s forest managers began a visionary program decades ago that has had profound implications for research involving the health of the longleaf pine ecosystem with its unique wildlife habitat.

Alan Schultz, currently Chief of the Fort Bragg Wildlife Branch, leads teams of biologists, conservation officers, and public use specialists as they collaborate with others to enhance and protect the Sandhills natural resources. Schultz’ academic training is in Wildlife Ecology and Management, and his career spans over 27 years in the southeast with specializations in wildlife ecology and management, ornithology, forestry, and public natural resource regulation and usage.

In all, Schultz’ varied experiences make him comfortable in addressing the issue of multiple land use in conservation. Fort Bragg’s multiple land use incorporates the following into a single management strategy: military training, conservation, forest products, prescribed fire, and the public use of natural resources. Some of this strategy evolved as a by-product of experience. For example, military training exercises occasionally produced small fires, and these fires mimicked the natural lightning strikes common in the Sandhills. This fire was found to be essential to both the flora and the fauna of the longleaf pine ecosystem.
Because of Fort Bragg’s focus on conservation management and its immense amount of acreage, it not only serves as an ecological laboratory, but also as a showcase for diverse habitats and their resultant diversity of species. Its combination of natural resource managers and military trainers working together helps humans, plants, and wildlife benefit from a unique symbiotic relationship.
Join us for an informative and interesting evening; refreshments will be served.  Thursday, July 29 at 7 PM in the Southern Pines Civic Club at the corner of Ashe and Pennsylvania.

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