Presented by Dennis Buckingham (CEMML) at the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association’s 2019 annual meeting and training workshop. Volunteer labor offers a cost effective method for accomplishing environmental objectives in a time of budgetary restraints and increased regulatory and management requirements. In 2014, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) created a volunteer program that involves active duty military personnel, spouses and families, college students, and various community groups. Program participants assist biologists in a wide variety of species conservation and environmental restoration tasks that directly benefit JBLM’s training mission while maintaining its extremely rare and imperiled habitat. This program produced over 12,500 hours of volunteer labor in 2018 alone, while simultaneously providing job skills training to retiring service members, eco-therapy to combat veterans suffering from PTSD, and a civilian-style work environment to promote post-transition success. Thanks in part to a DoD Legacy Award, this program is building partnerships and preparing instructional materials to expand operations to other bases.
Did You Know?
- CEMML was established in 1985
- More than 350 CEMML staff are stationed at Department of Defense facilities throughout the United States
- More than 70 CEMML staff are stationed on campus at Colorado State University