Integrated Natural & Cultural Resources Inventory & Management Plan, Tobyhanna Army Depot
Because military lands and waters often are protected from human access and impact, they contain some of our nation’s most significant remaining large tracts of land with valuable natural resources. One such site is the Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD), a 1,293-acre Army installation located on the Pocono Plateau, an area in Pennsylvania known to support a high concentration of rare flora and fauna. When the staff at TYAD needed to update the Depot’s Integrated Natural and Cultural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) to integrate the management of its natural and cultural resources with the military mission, they turned to Biohabitats for help. Biohabitats inventoried and developed a management plan for natural resources while subconsultant AD Marble did the same for cultural resources.
Biohabitats began by conducting an inventory of the various aquatic and terrestrial habitats of the installation, describing unique characteristics, identifying sensitive flora and fauna. Inventory methods, specifically selected to minimize impacts on natural systems, included vegetative plot sampling; live trapping for small mammals; motion activated camera trapping for larger mammals; calling surveys and point counts for birds and amphibians; electro-fishing; and active searches for reptiles.
Biohabitats was challenged with incorporating these data, including documented populations of State listed rare, threatened and endangered species, into a meaningful planning document that supports the installation’s mission while enhancing and protecting habitat in natural areas. Active management approaches considered in the plan included invasive species controls to restore the native seed bank in Oakes Swamp, nest box programs to increase habitat availability for cavity nesters in the relatively uniform even-aged forest stands of Powder Smoke Ridge, creation of shrub-lands for areas frequently cleared for radar operation, and meadow restorations for the open turf areas not specifically purposed.