This year, the United Nations’ World Environment Day raised awareness about global wildlife concerns such as the illegal wildlife trade, and Army Reserve Sustainability Programs (ARSP) celebrated the observance by highlighting some of the unique flora and fauna managed by U.S. Army Reserve Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command.
The future of the Earth’s wildlife is important to the Army Reserve. Because the Army Reserve has a global “bootprint,” numerous threats to natural resources and conflicts that arise as a result of those threats have the potential to impact mission objectives across the world. Wildlife issues also hit closer to home, since the Army Reserve’s land-holding commands are obliged by law to properly manage natural resources. If the Army Reserve does not comply with regulations regarding wildlife stewardship, the Federal government could then impose restrictions on operations – restrictions that could severely impede readiness. By protecting wildlife throughout the enterprise, the Army Reserve can protect the availability of the critical lands that provide habitat for our species and training for our Soldiers.
To educate Soldiers and Civilians about wildlife and its interactions with the military, ARSP hosted an information station at Army Reserve Command headquarters at Fort Bragg on June 8. Participants learned about threatened and endangered species at Army Reserve sites, and they calculated their ecological footprints.
In conjunction, ARSP launched its first-ever “Go Wild” digital photography contest, which garnered 114 entries. And, they collected almost 50 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to feed the animals at Aloha Zoo, a wildlife rescue center in Cameron, North Carolina.
Even though World Environment Day happens only once each year, Soldiers and Civilians in the Army Reserve community can do their parts to protect wildlife every day.
What can you do to protect wildlife in your community?
Be considerate and respectful of wildlife and their habitats.
Comply with all Federal, state, local and Installation regulations regarding interactions with wildlife – especially if you hunt or fish.
Carefully consider sales or purchases of animals and plants or goods derived from animals and plants to ensure that they are sustainably and legally traded.
Report evidence of wildlife poaching or harassment to your state bureau of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Visit fws.gov for more information.
Pledge to purchase products and services only from companies that support the humane treatment of animals.
Support or volunteer at a local agency that promotes animal and plant conservation such as an animal shelter or wildlife refuge.
Prevent pollution. Air, water and soil pollution can harm wildlife and their environments. Reduce your use of chemicals and discard your household wastes properly.
Conserve natural resources by saving energy and water, recycling and reducing waste.