Military Readiness and Environmental Protection through Cost-effective Land Conservation

Kent D. Messer, Maik Kecinski, Zhou Liu, Mary A. Korch and Thomas Bounds


Harboring a high density of threatened and endangered species on its bases leaves the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) with a critical responsibility: establishing sound environmental policies while also continuing training and ensuring military readiness. This dual objective is the goal of the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, a large conservation fund for military installations that is mandated to be cost-effective. Analyzing a unique DoD data set, we show that use of optimization models generates a 21% increase in military readiness and environmental protection or achieves the same benefits as benefit targeting at a cost saving of 37%. (JEL Q57, Q58)

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