Phil Huber, Compatible Land-Use
Coordinator
Send me an email

Encroachment and Compatible Land Use

As development consumes open space across the United States, Marstel-Day is working with several federal and non-federal clients to preserve critical habitat and open space, and to address the impact of land use changes with respect to the client’s intended mission. Our primary focus is on controlling encroachment, which involves avoiding or mitigating the gradual loss of a client’s mission capabilities because of changes to internal and external land uses.

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Conservation Conveyance Program

How do you find willing recipients for land that can’t be developed due to jurisdictional wetlands, endangered species habitat, or protection of environmental remedies?   The Conservation Conveyance strategy that Marstel-Day developed has been used to successfully convey 80,000 acres of surplus military land to private conservation organizations and public agencies.  This concept can be used to help other public agencies and commercial landowners to dispose of unneeded land as well.

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Base Realignment and Closure Services

The DOD Base Realignment and Closure Process (BRAC) can be challenging for both military departments and military communities as they address property disposal, environmental, and land use issues created by the closure, realignment, or expansion of military bases.  Marstel-Day offers comprehensive BRAC services and a strong record of creative problem-solving to help its military and community clients navigate the entire BRAC process, from installation closure to environmental studies and property reuse.

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Encroachment & Compatible Land Use

Phil Huber

Compatible Land-Use
Coordinator

Send me an email
571-338-6218

A Marstel-Day Success Story

Marstel-Day’s work with a U.S. federal government client in North Carolina resulted in the development of the Eastern North Carolina Land Use Strategy, which created a multi-stakeholder, landscape-scale compatible land use strategy for a 25-county region. This strategy identified a nexus of interests among landowners, state agencies, conservation organizations, and the military to preserve working lands and to support military-compatible land uses.

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Leveraging initial project successes, Marstel-Day continued to develop new and innovative strategies, including a Market-Based Conservation Initiative in which the military financially supported local landowners to maintain military-compatible land uses. Marstel-Day also helped to develop the concept of Sentinel Landscapes in North Carolina to support the regional nexus of conservation, working lands, and military readiness. Through these efforts, the region has raised more than $16 million to conserve land and support compatible land use initiatives, building consensus among conservation groups and multiple levels of government.

Encroachment and Compatible Land Use

  • Barbers Point NAS
  • Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station
  • Kansas Army Ammunition Plant
  • Prairie Dog in Colorado
  • Hamilton Airfield
  • Sierra Army Depot
  • Mare Island Naval Shipyard
  • Savannah Army Depot
“These are the professionals in the land use business that each of the DoD Services needs on their team to run a successful program. Our Headquarters has been extremely fortunate to have been supported by Marstel-Day for so long.”
As development consumes open space across the United States, Marstel-Day is working with several federal and non-federal clients to preserve critical habitat and open space, and to address the impact of land use changes with respect to the client’s intended mission. Our primary focus is on controlling encroachment, which involves avoiding or mitigating the gradual loss of a client’s mission capabilities because of changes in internal and external land uses.

To address these issues, Marstel-Day developed a tool called an “Encroachment Control Plan” (ECP). Originally designed for our clients in the United States Marine Corps, ECPs analyze a wide array of encroachment impacts and promote land use compatibility by engaging numerous stakeholders—government officials, nonprofit organizations, developers, and others—at the local, regional, and state levels. Marstel-Day also supports the Air Force in developing its Service-wide enterprise Encroachment Management Program, and has prepared over 30 Installation Complex Encroachment Management Action Plans (ICEMAPs) for Air Force and joint bases. In addition to encroachment management and real estate acquisition elements, Marstel-Day is undertaking a comprehensive approach to develop new, and to improve existing, Air Forces strategies, policies, processes, support tools, training, and outreach efforts.

Though our Encroachment Control Plans were originally developed for Department of Defense clients, Marstel-Day has been working to extend this capability to other agencies, including the U. S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, encroachment plans are applicable to university campuses, power companies, public safety and civil defense training sites, and a variety of other applications.

Areas of expertise

  • Landscape-Scale Conservation Planning
  • GIS-based Landscape Mapping, Modeling, and Analysis
  • Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans (INRMPs)
  • Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plans (ICRMPs)
  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCPs) Support
  • Resource Management Plans (RMPs)
  • Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs)
  • Forest Management Plans
  • Wetlands Delineation Plans
  • Wildlife Management Plans
  • Endangered Species Management
  • Sentinel Landscape Policy
  • Strategic Communication and Engagement
  • Mitigation Banking/Credits
  • Ecological Services Analysis
  • Conservation Conveyance
  • Net Environmental Benefit Assessments
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Greenspace Planning
  • Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Biological Monitoring
  • Ecological Modeling and Analysis
  • Habitat Mapping and Analysis
  • ESA/Section 7 and Biological Assessments
  • Bird/Wildlife Air Strike Hazard Analysis

Conservation Conveyance Program

The Situation

How do you find willing recipients for land that can not be developed because it protects jurisdictional wetlands, endangered species habitat, or environmental remedies?   The Conservation Conveyance strategy that Marstel-Day developed has been used to successfully convey 80,000 acres of surplus military land to private conservation organizations and public agencies.  This concept can be used to help other public agencies and commercial landowners dispose of unneeded land as well.

The Value Proposition

Conservation Conveyances can help public agencies and private landowners convert surplus land from management obligations in their portfolios to environmental assets for property recipients.
Conservation Conveyances can help public agencies and private landowners convert surplus land from management obligations in their portfolios to environmental assets for property recipients.   Natural land can have significant value to private conservation organizations, public agencies, and the general public.  It can provide outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat, protect water resources, improve air quality, offset carbon emissions, and provide scenic vistas.  Biologists call these benefits “ecosystem services,” and there is a growing awareness of their value to society and nature.

The DoD Conservation Conveyance statute, Title 10 U.S. Code Section 2694a, protects the natural values of surplus military lands through deeds with perpetual conservation restrictions.  But it also makes land attractive to property recipients by allowing them to conduct compatible revenue-generating activities such as wetlands mitigation and conservation banks, eco-tourism, and carbon offset credit production.

The Conceptual Framework

A challenge for the military Services and other institutional landowners is to find ways to transfer surplus land that has a “highest and best use” of conservation to organizations that have the missions and resources to manage them. Successful conservation conveyances accommodate multiple goals:

  • Landholders need assurances that property recipients will manage their land in ways that conserve natural resources, protect sensitive habitat, maintain environmental remedies, and require them to pay reimbursement if the land ceases to be used for conservation purposes.
  • Environmental regulators want assurances that future owners will assume all statutory and regulatory obligations that run with the land, that they will manage it for perpetual conservation use, and that there will be no financial incentives for future owners to avoid these obligations.
  • Private conservation organizations want the flexibility to acquire conservation sites as interim deed-holders and to re-convey them to public agencies for long-term management.
  • Federal, state, and local park and wildlife management agencies need time—often more than a year—to perform environmental due diligence analyses and to budget for the operation of new conservation lands, before taking title to them.  

How the Conservation Conveyance Concept Works for Surplus Military Property

The conservation conveyance option can be used in the General Services Administration (GSA) property disposal process to dispose of surplus military real property.  It may be a good choice if a state or local government cannot acquire land for conservation use through a traditional “public benefit conveyance,” or if the land is not a good candidate for a public sale due to lack of economic development potential.

Eligible recipients under Title 10 USC 2694a include state and local agencies and non-profit conservation organizations.  Recipients have the right to re-convey the land to other eligible entities for perpetual conservation use, giving them flexibility in managing their real estate portfolios.

The 1990 BRAC statute delegated GSA’s disposal authority to the DOD for BRAC sites, so that the military could use the conservation conveyance authority directly for these properties.  For non-BRAC disposals, a military department would request a delegation of disposal authority from the GSA.

We bring extensive experience in working with the GSA, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, national conservation organizations, state and local land trusts, and environmental regulators.
Marstel-Day has the knowledge, experience, and reputation as a trusted advisor to its clients to assist military departments in developing conservation conveyance strategies.  We bring extensive experience in working with the GSA, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, national conservation organizations, state and local land trusts, and environmental regulators of these tasks.  We helped to conceptualize the conservation conveyance statute and we assisted the Army in successfully executing two conservation conveyances and other conservation-based disposals totaling 80,000 acres, including two new National Wildlife Refuges.

Applying the Conservation Conveyance Concept to Nonfederal Lands

The conservation conveyance concept also can be applied to nonfederal landowners such as airports, utility companies, timber companies, and universities.  The heart of this program is based on defining landowners’ real estate disposal goals and establishing communications with conservation stakeholders.

It can be challenging for large landholders to assess the conservation value of their land, to identify conservation organizations that are interested in acquiring it, and to understand the real estate tools available to convey it for conservation purposes.  Marstel-Day excels in these areas.  By using our knowledge of conservation and environmental protection practices and our conservation stakeholder contacts, we helped our clients to convey land that had been stuck in the federal disposal process for over a decade.