Federal Agencies Overview

This section includes information about programs, resources, and requirements for compatible use, managed and overseen by various federal agencies, that can be used for local, regional, or even national compatibility efforts. While the Department of Defense (DoD), the federal agency that oversees national security, is most responsible for promoting compatible use around military installations, there are many grant programs and other resources administered by other federal agencies that can be used by local communities and military installation leaders to help implement Compatible Use Studies and Military Installation Resilience Review recommendations and other projects that improve overall compatibility and resiliency.

What's in This Tab

  • A history of DoD military compatibility initiatives
  • Overview of current DoD compatibility programs
  • Information on other federal agencies' programs that support compatibility

The DoD leads efforts to ensure that military installations are compatible with surrounding communities through policies, procedures, and approaches, which identify, inform, and mitigate incompatible land uses. The DoD's attempts to identify and quantify development encroachment in communities adjacent to testing and training ranges date from the late 1990s. The first initiatives focused on preventing, or at least slowing, incompatible development near installations and ranges, which could inhibit realistic military training conditions and weapon system testing.

By the mid-2000s, the view that compatibility issues were exclusively the result of development encroachments outside the military installations began to evolve, leading to broadened initiatives and new approaches that included the local community and other stakeholders in the process. This new perspective and approach acknowledged that both installations and their surrounding communities needed to work together in support of individual and mutual goals. The first attempts to address such issues included two new programs by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), aimed at addressing, mitigating, or eliminating encroaching development, or incompatible uses, adjacent to military installations. These efforts, the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI) and Military Installation Sustainability assistance programs, were established by the OSD and administered by the REPI Program Office and the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC), respectively. These two programs sought to partner with communities, non-governmental organizations, and state and federal agencies to protect lands and waters surrounding military installations from new development that was incompatible with military activities.

The first partnering efforts focused on financial contributions from the DoD and partner organizations, in-kind contributions of services to maintain properties, and land donations from individuals and groups like The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, American Farmland Trust, and the National Audubon Society. Two early partnership examples include America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI) and conservation easements for the Walker Ranch near Fort Carson, Colorado. These partnerships proved not only beneficial to the military, but also helped sustain ecosystems and wildlife habitats around military installations and enhanced the quality of life in surrounding communities.

The DoD does not undertake compatibility, sustainability, and resilience initiatives alone, rather it is mutually supported by other federal agencies to obtain the best outcomes for every project, grant, or initiative. Below is a list of federal agencies and programs that support military and community compatibility with summaries of selected grant programs and other available resources.

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