Candidate Conservation Agreements to Minimize Military Conflicts with Wildlife Laws: The Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


Steven Bissell


Candidate Conservation Agreements; Department of Defense; Endangered Species Act; Gopher Tortoise; Military


The proposed Endangered Species Act listing of the gopher tortoise has the potential to impact the military mission at installations in the southeastern United States. Candidate Conservation Agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could be a tool to promote conservation and potentially preclude listing. This project identified military activities that could be affected and determined that military natural resources managers are unsure if such an agreement would prevent impacts to the military mission or impose the same restrictions as federal listing. This project found that if a gopher tortoise Candidate Conservation Agreement can be developed such that it benefits the species as well as the military, it should be used as a model for other species.

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