By Andrew Brown
Dee Lloyd’s attire epitomized the inherent struggle at Fort Leonard Wood: a necktie covered in frogs and a camouflage lanyard that read “Go Army Reserve.”
“We try to limit our impacts,” said Lloyd, chief compliance officer for the environmental branch at Fort Leonard Wood, as he explained the environmental programs at the Army base.
Fort Leonard Wood, located in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, has trained U.S. soldiers since 1940. In recent decades, the generals there have also battled environmental and cultural degradation.
“It’s impossible to train the military without having some type of impact on the environment,” said Charlie Neil, director of public works at the base.
Fort Leonard Wood contains cultural historical sites that must be preserved, and the military training performed there threatens the health of animals and the surrounding land.
The Defense Department must balance the goals of training the military and protecting irreplaceable history and endangered species.
Kenton Lohraff, the base’s director of natural resources, said endangered bats, aquatic mussels and salamanders live on the base.
“We work case by case, species by species and training need by training need,” Lohraff said.
Edited by Margaux Henquinet