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Environmental Management

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 207–218 | Cite as

Protection of biota on nonpark public lands: Examples from the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation

  • Linda K. Mann
  • Patricia D. Parr
  • Larry R. Pounds
  • Robin L. Graham
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Abstract

Security buffers of Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DOE) reservations provide long-term habitat protection for many rare and endangered species. The importance of these government-owned reservations as nationally valuable resources has been relatively unrecognized. During the last 50 years, the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) has been a relatively protected island in a region of rapidly expanding urbanization and land clearing. Consisting of the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park and associated lands surrounding DOE facilities at Oak Ridge Tennessee, the unique nature of the ORR in the surrounding landscape is clearly visible from the air and has been documented using remote sensing data. Although forests dominate much of other regions of eastern Tennessee, this 15,000-ha tract of mostly natural forest habitat is unique in the southern Ridge and Valley physiographic province, which is otherwise widely developed for pasture, marginal cropland, woodlot, and urban uses. Twenty state-listed and federal-candidate plant species are known to be present on the ORR. This richness of species, which are provided protection by state and federal laws, exceeds that of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a species area basis and is an index of the value of the ORR both regionally and nationally in conserving biodiversity. With the end of the Cold War, changing DoD and DOE missions combined with increasing development pressure contribute to uncertainty in the future management of security reservations.

Key words

Federal lands Threatened and endangered species Conservation Cedar barrens 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda K. Mann
    • 1
  • Patricia D. Parr
    • 1
  • Larry R. Pounds
    • 1
  • Robin L. Graham
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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