The Army Strategy for the Environment


To manage, conserve, and demonstrate sound stewardship of the public trust for the environmental resources under our responsibility while providing for the sustained and enhanced opportunity to accomplish the military training mission.

Environmental Division,
Department of Public Works

Range Management

The Conservation Compliance Branch is responsible for managing and maintaining the soil, vegetation, and water resources on 373,302 acres of forest and rangeland at Fort Carson and the PCMS. This is not an easy task since the Army extensively utilizes both areas for training of mechanized units, involving a large number of wheeled and tracked vehicles (e.g., tanks, armored personnel carriers). Substantial ground disturbance, often resulting from the military activities, can easily upset the delicate natural balance between soil and plant communities in these semi-arid environments.

To accomplish its mission, the Range Management program utilizes in-house range conservationists, private contractors, military engineer units, and other agency personnel. Key program areas and activities include:

  • soil erosion/sediment control
  • native species revegetation
  • noxious weed control
  • wetland monitoring
  • meteorological monitoring
  • hydrological monitoring
  • maneuver damage assessment
  • training area deferment
  • watershed management
  • off limits areas

The Range Management Program makes significant contributions toward accomplishing this mission by engaging in activities that protect and maintain the land resources that are integral to the Army training. This program also provides opportunities to fulfill training requirements for military engineering units at Fort Carson and for visiting reserve engineering units in the form of constructing and repairing physical erosion control structures. As environmental stewards, the Army, and specifically DPW environmental division, is keenly aware of the need for proper land management for fish, wildlife, and recreational uses as well.

Wildlife Management

The Wildlife Team manages exceptionally diverse wildlife resources at Fort Carson and the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. They include big game animals, threatened and endangered species, unique bird habitats for important and sensitive songbirds and raptors migrating along the Rocky Mountain Front Range.

Fort Carson works in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW). The USFWS has assisted in many of our management activities at the PCMS.

Cultural Resource Management

Cultural resources are the material and non-material items that reflect human culture, or patterns of human behavior and thought. Cultural resources contain information about human practices and beliefs, and represent contemporary, historic, and prehistoric human life ways.

Fort Carson and Pinon Canyon's cultural resources are an integral part of the environmental program. Cultural resources include prehistoric and historic artifacts and archaeological sites, historic and ethno historic values, architecture, and the landscapes in which these reside. The Cultural Resources Program also coordinates with Native American tribes to ensure that their concerns are recognized. Proper management of sites, artifacts, and records preserve our national heritage for the future.

The Cultural Resources Management Program (CRM) within the Environmental Division of the Directorate of Public Works manages all cultural resources on Fort Carson lands. This Program has been in place since 1982. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), numerous federal and state laws, Army Regulations, and Presidential Executive Orders mandate cultural resources management on federally owned property. Several years prior to Colorado implementing a zero collection policy for artifacts found during archaeological inventories, Fort Carson adopted the practice of conducting artifact analysis in the field. The CRM staff place all collections in a state-of-the art, 2,400-square-foot Curation Facility. Fort Carson meets or exceeds all federal and state archival and curation standards.

The CRM Program at Fort Carson takes a proactive approach to cultural resource management, through consistent use of historic and scientific research and data analysis procedures, and through coordination with military and public works officials during the planning phase of prospective projects. This process minimizes impacts and maintains site and/or data integrity. Fort Carson also provides cultural resource awareness training to the soldiers prior to military training activities. All of these efforts have been very successful at Fort Carson.

As a military training facility, the concern over the loss or disturbance of historic resources is understandable. However, Fort Carson's past performance in this arena demonstrates an excellent record of sound stewardship and preservation. During archaeological surveys, archaeologists found numerous sites exhibiting looting or disturbance activities that occurred prior to Army ownership of the land, to include; rock art defacement dating up to the 1970s on PCMS. Due to the rigorous training and archaeological monitoring routines in place, similar impacts have virtually ceased under Army management.

Although inadvertent disturbance from some types of military training is inevitable, incidents of archaeological site damage are rare, and there has never been a total loss of site or cultural materials data. Because of Fort Carson's dedication to cultural resource preservation, historic properties, archaeological sites, and associated artifacts protected and preserved under Army management than better than they would have been with no state or federal directives in place.

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