The Fort Hood Range Revegetation Pilot Project and the Fort Hood Training Lands Restoration and Maintenance Project are helping maintain quality training lands for military personnel, maintain and improve the natural resource base, protect the surrounding watersheds and improve water quality of supply reservoirs.
Located on the northern edge of the Texas Hill Country, Fort Hood Military Reservation is characterized by rolling hills, shallow soils, woodlands, prairies and rocky streams. The military has used Fort Hood's West Range, with more than 67,000 acres, as its primary training and maneuver area for two armored divisions for more than 60 years. These training activities have disturbed its ecosystems, creating accelerated soil erosion and water quality issues.
The U.S. Department of the Army and U.S. Department of Defense are keenly interested in integrating sound stewardship practices with the requirements of their training missions. The Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center are working in close collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Fort Hood's Integrated Training Area Management (ITAM) and Directorate of Public Works on the Fort Hood Range Revegetation Pilot Project and the Fort Hood Training Lands Restoration and Maintenance Project. Project members continue to develop, test and implement best management practices (BMPs) and guides for restoring the installation's training lands and to assess a series of NRCS BMPs.
The Rangeland Revegetation project also removes dairy manure by-products from the Bosque River Watershed, addressing water quality concerns and assisting in meeting that impaired watershed's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements.