Farms Near Fort Campbell – Middle TN
What do The Land Trust for Tennessee and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have in common? Each are on a mission to conserve open land. The Land Trust for Tennessee has partnered with the DoD to conserve more than 2,600 acres of working farms, open space, and critical wildlife habitat surrounding Fort Campbell, one of the largest military installations in the country.
About the ACUB Partnership
“The Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB) gives Fort Campbell the ability to work with conservation partners like The Land Trust for Tennessee to preserve the agricultural lands and open spaces surrounding our airfields and training areas,” said Fort Campbell Community Planner Chris Brown. “It also gives us the opportunity to protect off-post habitat that is beneficial to several listed bat species on Fort Campbell.”
At 105,000 acres, Fort Campbell sits on the Kentucky and Tennessee border. Protecting land surrounding the base is critical as it allows servicemen and women to train without restrictions that can impede their readiness, like light pollution or incompatible development. The program is also helping build relationships with local landowners.
“I had a local farmer tell me that in his opinion, two of the most important things in this country are national defense and agriculture,” Brown said. “This conservation effort works hand in hand in protecting both of those.”
From the Ground Level: Conserving Farmland near Fort Campbell
Through the voluntary ACUB program, landowners can realize financial and tax benefits while conserving their land. The Land Trust has completed a dozen projects buffering Fort Campbell in Tennessee, including conserving Paul and Ramona McKinney’s 231-acre farm in Montgomery County.
“In view of the fact that much farmland in Montgomery County is being lost each year to development, we appreciate that we could partner with The Land Trust for Tennessee, Fort Campbell, and Natural Resources Conservation Service to protect our farm for wildlife and for future generations,” said Ramona McKinney.
Across the nation, non-government organizations, state and local governments, and the DoD have conserved land surrounding 100+ locations in 30+ states through the DoD Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI). As a result, more than a half a million acres of working farms, forests, and ranchlands have been conserved.