Camp Ripley - an environmental model
CAMP RIPLEY — Camp Ripley has been recognized at the state and national level for its accomplishments in protecting the environment, as evidenced by a recent award received from the office of the Secretary of the Army.
“This accomplishment is a collaborative effort with numerous state, federal, and local agencies. The environmental staff relies heavily on the scientific contributions from academic institutions such as St. Cloud State University, the University of Minnesota and Central Lakes College,” said Marty Skoglund, environmental program manager for Camp Ripley.
The Environmental Department maintains a robust land, air and water monitoring program. This program has met or exceeded regulatory reporting requirements over the past 25 years. As a result of their practices, the ecosystem of Camp Ripley is thriving with the second largest concentration of Blanding’s turtles in the state, largest nesting population of Red Shouldered Hawks in the Midwest, 205 species of birds and over 650 species of plant life, according to Skoglund.
“While petroleum, munitions and other wastes are used in military operations they don’t pose a hazard when managed in accordance with environmental regulations which is the case at Camp Ripley,” said Col. Scott St. Sauver, post commander of Camp Ripley.
“Most importantly, we have not and will not use depleted uranium for any of our operations. Furthermore, with the exception of herbicides that are used in accordance with strict regulations to control noxious and invasive vegetation, defoliants are not used on Camp Ripley.”
St. Sauver added, “We invite anyone interested in seeking more information on our environmental management program to contact us. The Minnesota National Guard is steadfast in its stewardship of the environment and I am confident that our track record at Camp Ripley speaks for itself.”
Camp Ripley is currently competing for a Department of Defense (DoD) environmental award. The winners for the 2014 award are expected to be announced later this month. Camp Ripley has won DoD environmental awards in 1998, 2005, and 2008.