View all text of Chapter 159 [§ 2661 - § 2697]

§ 2694. Conservation and cultural activities
(a)Establishment.—The Secretary of Defense may establish and carry out a program to conduct and manage in a coordinated manner the conservation and cultural activities described in subsection (b).
(1) A conservation or cultural activity eligible for the program that the Secretary establishes under subsection (a) is any activity—
(A) that has regional or Department of Defense-wide significance and that involves more than one military department or involves a sentinel landscape;
(B) that is necessary to meet legal requirements or to support military operations or that would contribute to maintaining or improving military installation resilience;
(C) that can be more effectively managed at the Department of Defense level; and
(D) for which no executive agency has been designated responsible by the Secretary.
(2) Such activities include the following:
(A) The development of ecosystem-wide land management plans or nature-based climate resilience plans.
(B) The conduct of wildlife studies to ensure the safety and sustainability of military operations.
(C) The identification and return of Native American human remains and cultural items in the possession or control of the Department of Defense, or discovered on land under the jurisdiction of the Department, to the appropriate Native American tribes.
(D) The control of invasive species that may hinder military activities or degrade military training ranges.
(E) The establishment of a regional curation system for artifacts found on military installations.
(F) The implementation of ecosystem-wide land management plans—
(i) for a single ecosystem—(I) that encompasses at least two non-contiguous military installations, if those military installations are not all under the administrative jurisdiction of the same Secretary of a military department; and(II) providing synergistic benefits unavailable if the installations acted separately; or
(ii) for one or more ecosystems within a sentinel landscape.
(c)Cooperative Agreements.—The Secretary may negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements with public and private agencies, organizations, institutions, individuals, or other entities to carry out the program established under subsection (a).
(d)Effect on Other Laws.—Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted as preempting any otherwise applicable Federal, State, or local law or regulation relating to the management of natural and cultural resources on military installations.
(e)Sentinel Landscape Defined.—In this section, the term “sentinel landscape” has the meaning given that term in section 2693(g) of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title III, § 332(a)(1), Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2484; amended Pub. L. 105–85, div. A, title X, § 1073(a)(59), Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 1903; Pub. L. 112–81, div. B, title XXVIII, § 2814, Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1688; Pub. L. 117–81, div. A, title III, § 317(c), Dec. 27, 2021, 135 Stat. 1632; Pub. L. 118–31, div. A, title III, § 311(c)(2), Dec. 22, 2023, 137 Stat. 215.)