truck convoy on military base

Tracking and integrating valuation of ecosystem services for military base land-use and land-management decisions


The United States has over 18 million hectares of dedicated military land, but the environmental benefits produced by this land are severely understudied. Presently, the US Department of Defense (DoD) lacks a comprehensive, systematic method for documenting the value of ecosystem services and needs a better understanding of how they may be changed or redistributed as a consequence of land management interventions. Consequently, the contribution of military bases to neighboring communities is very likely undervalued, and management of DoD’s significant natural resources may be suboptimal. Development of a platform to evaluate and track ecosystem service value on military bases could help to demonstrate the potential returns that military lands produce for surrounding communities. 

Alongside our partners at Duke University, we are facilitating the development of a generalizable, user-friendly, and state-of-the-art software modeling tool to value, enhance, and document the ecosystem service delivery of military lands. 


Our work supports the portion of the project focused on providing economic valuation of benefit relevant indicators, or BRIs. The methods involve direct valuation methods, especially for marketed goods (e.g., timber), and benefits transfer, especially for non-market goods (e.g., wildlife habitat). Our evaluation of ecosystem services include: wildfire risk and damage, respiratory health, timber harvest, energy production, recreation, carbon storage, endangered species protection, hunted/harvested species, flood damage, shoreline erosion, potable water quality, and agricultural/industry water use. In addition to benefit-cost calculations, we explore the use of other approaches such as multi-attribute tradeoff weighting, risk-adjusted utility measures, and acceptability (threshold) criteria.


This project is a collaboration led by Dr. Mark Borsuk at Duke University and is funded by the US Department of Defense.