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JBLM leads the DoD in environmental stewardship

Continues to strive to “Conserve Today and Secure Tomorrow”

Joe Blaine, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stormwater technician, tests the water during a rain event on JBLM in January 2019. Photo credit: Cathy Hamilton-Wissmer

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Environmental stewardship is inherent in action throughout Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) as we reach 50 years of environmental stewardship focused on national defense on Earth Day April 22.

Army and Air Force efforts align to the modernization of power projection platforms to ensure that service members can train, mobilize and deploy to maintain strategic advantage.

JBLM has been a sustainability leader within the Department of Defense since the inception of the Installation Sustainability Program in 2002. Installation personnel and local community members examined our environmental footprint and established long-term goals for a sustainable future.

Individual actions can make a difference to minimize impact on the environment -- using less water or energy, making thoughtful purchases, recycling or reusing products. Managing resources to support the present installation mission without compromising the ability to accomplish the mission in the future is driven by the Triple Bottom Line plus: Mission, Environment, Community and Economic Benefit.

Recent JBLM accomplishments illustrate the depth and breadth of the sustainable efforts taken to enhance the lives of the base community and to support the military training mission:

  • Environmental management system and environmental operating permits.
  • Robust sustainability, recycling, energy outreach programs throughout the JBLM community.
  • Waste diversion, recycling, composting, asphalt and concrete crushing and reuse. JBLM diversion rate is consistently high.
  • Sustainable acquisition program for green purchases help to protect the environment.
  • Robust alternative transportation program including on-base transit system, bike share and vanpool. With partners Pierce County, the GO Lewis-McChord program won the Army Community Partnership Award for 2017 for its focus on alternate transportation.
  • 30-year Master Plan with a sustainable focus for the installation.
  • Energy conservation and innovation.
  • Stormwater filtration including redesign at the main gate, command building parking lots and roadway improvements.
  • Certification by the Forest Stewardship Council is an integral part of the Training Lands component of JBLM's Installation Sustainability Program.
  • Prescribed burns in JBLM training areas benefit ecological restoration, habitat maintenance and wildfire prevention. On prescribed burns, forestry assists the JBLM Fire Department, Fish and Wildlife Program and the Center for Natural Lands Management.
  • Has improved the ecological health of Oregon white oak and ponderosa pine forest on JBLM. These uncommon plant communities provide important habitat for state-listed western gray squirrels and a number of other plant, anima and fungal species.
  • Control of Scotch broom, English ivy, and other non-native, invasive plants has improved thousands of acres of JBLM's training lands, improved the success of forest plantations and contributed to restoration of native prairie habitat that benefits listed species.
  • Environmental internships provide valuable experience for service members, who will be leaving the military and entering the job market.
  • Audubon certified golf courses: Eagles Pride and Whispering Firs.

JBLM continues to strive to "Conserve Today and Secure Tomorrow." Because of the strength of its leaders, the dedication of the Installation Sustainability Program Teams, the support of our neighbors and community members, JBLM anticipates continued innovation and progress to be more livable, to progress in sustainable development and to be more a mission capable installation.

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