The increased public and scientific concerns regarding the environmental effects of military training and testing activities on land, air, and water resources under Department of Defense (DoD) control come at the same time that the resources available to examine these risks are declining.

The goals of this project were to (1) identify methodological approaches, procedures, and data requirements as well as existing data sources and (2) to quantitatively assess the military training and testing impacts on natural and cultural resources in all different types of environments.

Technical Approach

A framework was developed to incorporate physical, chemical, and biological stressors (including noise) and direct and indirect effects and to integrate risk to natural resources with risk to mission. A four-step process was used to develop the first-level conceptual framework. The later iterations were devoted to development of a secondlevel implementation framework component for each of a series of generic types of hazards associated with training and testing. Examples included aircraft overflights, use of ocean ranges, and weapons firing on military lands. As each component was developed, it was linked into the overall assessment of risk. The framework is compatible with the data management systems and environmental models used by the DoD.


This was a one-year study during which a framework was developed. This framework establishes a new, risk-based approach to natural and cultural resources management on military installations. This project was completed in FY 1996.


This work provides a guide for the collection of valid, quantitative data to provide assessments of the impacts of military activities on natural and cultural resources. The guide is intended to be accepted by regulatory agencies. The framework, in turn, served as the foundation for SERDP project RC-1054: Demonstration of a Risk Assessment Framework for Natural Resources on Military Training and Testing Lands to fully develop a risk management paradigm.