Sustainable Management of Military Training Areas

NRI GmbH working on the Hohenfels Training Area
NRI GmbH checking the growth of the ‘Prunus Spinosa’ or Blackthorn, an encroaching species taking away Training Area in Hohenfels.

Natural Resource Innovations GmbH is investigating whether livestock grazing and controlled burning could offer a solution for maintaining the open maneuver training capacity in the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany.  NRI has worked with AMEC Foster Wheeler and Parsons Government Services since 2009 to support the Sustainable Range Program (SRP) for the United States Army Garrison Hohenfels on a project for developing sustainable land management methods on the training area.

The project focuses on analyzing vegetation control methods to prevent the encroachment of ‘Prunus spinosa’ (Blackthorn) on the JMRC, which decreases the net training area capacity for US and NATO troops.

There are three key expected results for ‘Project Blackthorn’:

  1. Support U.S. Army training doctrine and maintain (military) carrying capacity
  2. Improve range safety – identify sink holes & obstacles, improve line of sight (LOS)
  3. Implement sustainable land management practices based on U.S. Army policy.

“The Sustainable Range Program (SRP) goal is to maximize the capability, availability, and accessibility of ranges and training lands to support doctrinal requirements, mobilization, and deployments under normal and surge conditions.”

The NRI team conducted several experiments in the past few years to find the most effective solution that meets project goals. These scientific and statistical methods of vegetation growth investigate livestock grazing and controlled burning as viable options for restoring the core capability maneuver areas in the Hohenfels Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC).

NRI assessing vegetation plots in Hohenfels

We are currently analyzing the results of the vegetation growth study and look forward to seeing the results. Follow our blog for further information.




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