The Sikes Act requires most military installations within the United States to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for natural resource conservation and management (e.g., fish and wildlife, forestry, land management, outdoor recreation) on the installation. This conservation plan, known as an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans or INRMP, focuses on ecosystem-based management with a goal of managing the natural resources to meet stewardship requirements while supporting, and even enhancing, military operations.
Military installations prepare INRMPs in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and state fish and wildlife agencies, ensuring appropriate consideration of fish, wildlife, and their habitat needs. INRMPs are required at almost 380 military installations across the Nation. The Department of Defense and the Service establish guidance to assist installations, the Service, and state fish and wildlife agencies with the INRMP review and concurrence process. Questions about U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collaboration should be directed to the Service’s Sikes Act Coordinator for the region.
Collaboration between the Service, states, and the military installations to develop and implement INRMPs is the cornerstone of the Sikes Act. Shared interests and responsibilities enhance the management of natural resources on Federal lands and promote biodiversity. This collaborative approach to natural resource conservation directly benefits the Service’s ability to enhance and conserve fish, wildlife and plants, as well as their habitats. Due to successful natural resource conservation and management on installations, landscapes can be conserved and enhanced, providing the benefits of healthy ecosystems to wildlife and human communities, while still being used to support military operations and training.
The Sikes Act requires an in-depth review of each INRMP with approval by the Service and the appropriate state resource agency no less than every five years. In order to simplify the process, it is recommended that each INRMP be reviewed annually by the Service, states and the installation to ensure that it is addressing and meeting the installation’s conservation planning needs. If collaborative annual reviews are completed, then the five-year review to meet Sikes Act compliance can be completed more efficiently and effectively.
This document provides updated guidance to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) personnel for implementing the requirements of the Sikes Act. It replaces the following memorandum: Guidance for Coordination of Department of Defense Sikes Act Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans (June 8, 2001). Additionally, guidance may be developed in the future to streamline the review process for Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans (INRMPs).