Army’s 2011 Natural Resources Conservation Team

Army Conservation Team Recognized

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Natural Resources Team was awarded the Secretary of the Army’s 2011 Natural Resources Conservation Team Award for its efforts in developing and managing environmental programs that increase environmental quality and Army sustainability.

“Recognition by the Secretary of the Army as having one of the finest natural resource programs in the Army is a public testament to the commitment, professionalism and dedication of the Natural Resources staff. Their work allows the Army to continue to train here and prepare for any contingency our nation requires of its soldiers,” said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. “This program, over many years, has not only stabilized threatened and endangered species here on Oahu, but it serves as the model across the Army and federal government on how to collaborate with state, federal and private organizations to manage fragile populations.”

The resources team is responsible for managing more than 60 federally listed species and more than 50,000 acres of land.

What began as a staff of four in 1995 has grown to more than 50 individuals who in the last year collected 5,800 endangered plants for genetic storage and reintroduction, and fenced off 1,200 acres of endangered species habitat to protect the plants from wild pigs and goats.

“We’ve come so far in conserving natural resources here on Oahu,” said Kapua Kawelo, a federal biologist who has worked with the team since its inception. “The great strides we have made are largely because of our staff’s combined knowledge and skills for resource management, along with their shared passion for protecting Hawaii’s endangered species.”

The team will now represent the Army in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition this spring.