U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District (FED) is entrusted with ensuring that natural resource conservation measures and activities on all U.S. Forces Korea installations are integrated and consistent with federal stewardship requirements.
USACE strives to restore ecosystem structure and processes, manage land resources and construction activities in a sustainable manner, and support cleanup and protection activities efficiently and effectively, all while minimizing its footprint.
Sung Sik Paek, an FED environmental engineer, assists U.S. military installations in the Republic of Korea with developing an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP) by preparing contract document packages and serving as the contracting officer representative.
“Biodiversity provides the basis for all life on earth. I think natural resource survey is the basic element of understanding proper protection and restoration of biodiversity,” said Paek. “As government employees, it is our responsibility to protect our natural resource(s) in accordance with laws and policies.”
The INRMP provides technical guidance to achieve sustainable biodiversity, better use of military training ranges and other land assets.
As such, all branches of military are required to comply with USFK Regulation 201-1, Environmental Governing Standards (EGS).
“The EGS requires that USFK devise plans to ensure proper protection, enhancement and management of natural resources and any species (flora and fauna) declared endangered or threatened by either the United States or ROK government,” said Paek.
FED ensures the USFK plan is carried out by using the following tips:
- Follow all requirements listed in USFK Regulation 201-1, 2020 Environmental Governing Standard and Army Regulation 200-1 for management of natural resources.
- Maintain vegetated buffers zones around natural habitats, especially where current activities adjacent to natural habitats are causing noticeable adverse impacts on the habitat.
- Activities within buffer zones should be limited to those that would cause little or no ground disturbance.
- Maintain grounds to meet designated mission use and ensure harmony with the natural landscape.
- Each installation should develop an Environmental Awareness pamphlet that details vegetation and wildlife population on the installation, responsibilities and requirements for environmental protection, and measures that are taken for environmental preservation.