Once remote U.S. military installations are facing rapid development from surrounding communities that constrains training operations and threatens the readiness of our armed forces. Urban sprawl and land conversion near installations creates significant challenges for both the military and surrounding communities, while also negatively impacting natural and working lands that support wildlife habitat, agriculture and recreation.


In 2002, Congress gave the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) authority to enter into cost sharing agreements with state and local governments and conservation organizations to promote military readiness and prevent encroachment from incompatible development. To lead this effort, DoD created the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program, which provides federal funding to conserve land that both protects wildlife habitats and working lands while preserving the training and testing mission of military installations.

To date, the REPI program has provided funding to over 100 installations at significant risk of encroachment. However, REPI funding alone cannot address the increasing development pressures facing DoD training and testing areas tasked with maintaining and improving U.S. military readiness.


REPI partners are required to provide as much as 50% matching funds from non-DoD sources to complete land conservation projects, while also providing funding to cover due diligence, staff time, and indirect costs. Without these matching funds available when landowners are ready to sell, high priority lands near military bases are at risk of being lost to incompatible development and conversion, which can present obstacles to aircraft, create electronic interference that negatively affects sensitive communications equipment and create increased hazards to nearby communities.


The Conservation Fund created the Military Readiness Fund to support the permanent conservation of high priority lands near military bases by providing matching funds and related project expenses needed to complete REPI projects across the country. This dedicated source of funding, together with The Conservation Fund’s ready bridge capital, will allow us to be ready to secure lands to meet the needs of landowners and will expand our ability to complete mutually beneficial projects that enable conservation, communities and military installations across the nation to support continued military readiness.


Our goal is to raise $25 million to ensure we can quickly conserve priority REPI lands and cover funding gaps that delay the completion of critically important projects. This funding will help stretch REPI dollars, enabling the protection of even more lands at risk from incompatible development near military installations before it is too late.


Project Examples

Melrose Air Force Range

The flat, open expanse of grassland prairie in the plains region of eastern New Mexico makes an idea...

Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape, Minnesota

Rich with ecological and recreational benefits, this boundary — known as a Sentinel Landscape — has ...

Preserving Habitat While Maintaining Military Readiness — Camp Williams, Utah

Protecting valuable habitat that surrounds our military installations is vital to both our national ...