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Kittatinny Ridge Among Five Sentinel Landscapes Selected to Address Climate Change Impacts and Strengthen Military Readiness

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Kittatinny Ridge Sentinel Landscape in Pennsylvania

Kittatinny Ridge Among Five Sentinel Landscapes Selected to Address Climate Change Impacts and Strengthen Military Readiness

Today, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DOD), and Department of the Interior (DOI), announced the designation of five new sentinel landscapes. In these landscapes, natural and working lands thrive alongside military installations and ranges. The partnership is excited to welcome these new landscapes and support its partners' work to mitigate climate change impacts and improve sustainable land and water management practices around military installations.

The 2024 sentinel landscape designations include:  

Eastern New Mexico Sentinel Landscape, New Mexico
Great Salt Lake Sentinel Landscape, Utah
Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi Island 
Kittatinny Ridge Sentinel Landscape, Pennsylvania 
Mojave Desert Sentinel Landscape, California 

“Through the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, we have worked with private landowners to permanently protect more than 515,000 acres and implement sustainable management practices on an additional 2.7 million acres around military testing and training areas,” said USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief, Terry Cosby. “These efforts preserve wildlife habitat, bolster agricultural and forest production, and support climate resiliency, among other benefits, while at the same time ensuring our military has the space it needs for its operations. This work showcases the power of collaboration and partnership to help us meet our mission.” 

"The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership demonstrates the remarkable successes that can happen through collaborative, locally led conservation efforts," said Martha Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director. "This program works by connecting private landowners with voluntary state and federal assistance programs that provide tax reductions, agricultural loans, disaster relief, educational opportunities, technical aid, and funding for conservation easements. By focusing multiple agencies' resources on a Sentinel Landscape, the Service and its partners use taxpayer dollars more efficiently and achieve greater conservation outcomes."

Kittatinny Ridge Sentinel Landscape, Pennsylvania 
In the Lenape language, Kittatinny means “Big Mountain,” which describes the geography of Kittatinny Ridge Sentinel Landscape (KRSL) well. Located in eastern Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Mountains, it encompasses forested ridges and fertile valleys that provide clean water, sequester vast amounts of carbon, and serve as a crucial corridor for rare wildlife and songbird migration. The landscape is anchored by Fort Indiantown Gap, the busiest National Guard training center, the Army’s second busiest heliport, and one of only three specialized Army National Guard aviation facilities. "With the primary mission of preserving military mission readiness, operations, testing and training capabilities, NRCS and KRSL partners are focused on increasing coordinated and holistic land conservation, natural resource protection, and stewardship initiatives; supporting working lands productivity and economic development; and improving nature-based recreational resources and access to sustain small-town economies," said Denise Coleman, Pennsylvania State Conservationist.

USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) was the foundation to the Kittatinny Ridge Sentinel Landscape designation. The RCPP Project, between NRCS, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and non-government organizations, totaled $38.9 million.

Learn more about the Kittatinny Ridge Sentinel Landscape here. Read more about the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership’s mission and accomplishments at