Engineering Earth pp 1683-1700 | Cite as

America’s Military Footprint: Landscapes and Built Environments within the Continental U.S.

  • William W. DoeIII
  • Eugene J. Palka


Megaprojects are huge in scale and cost and can have significant economic, social and environmental impacts, both positive and negative, on the surrounding landscape and communities. The U.S. military landscape is by far the largest, most expensive, and most enduring of the megaprojects addressed in this book. Indeed, America’s current military footprint has been evolving for more than 230 years and today includes more than 30 million acres within the nation’s states (Doe, 2008). Military lands comprise a unique component of the federal land management system in the U.S. These lands reflect the country’s development and history, beginning as coastal defenses and outposts on the frontier, to becoming major military installations that are self-contained municipalities. Controlled by the four Armed Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps), military lands include all land within the “fenceline” of a military installation, including two primary areas: (1) the cantonment – the built up component or “city” that houses and supports military personnel and their families, and (2) the range and training complex – consisting of live-fire ranges, bombing ranges and maneuver areas for training and testing of personnel, units and equipment. Irrespective of base realignments and closings, the military landscape within the U.S. is destined to continue as the federal government’s largest, most expensive, and most enduring megaproject.


Mojave Desert Federal Land Marine Corps Military Installation Federal Land Management 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Warner College of Natural ResourcesColorado State UniversityFt. CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Environmental EngineeringU.S. Military AcademyWest PointUSA

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