Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Cannon takes big step in water conservation

In a huge leap towards land, water, and species conservation and preservation, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, made in part by the USDA, DOD, DOI and other federal agencies, admitted Cannon Air Force Base as a designated Sentinel Landscape today. Other landscapes admitted in 2024 include Great Salt Lake in Utah, Kauai, Oahu, and Hawai’i Island in Hawaii, Kittatiny Ridge in Pennsylvania, and the Mojave Desert in California.

Sentinel Landscapes are designated in areas where conservation, working lands (agriculture), and national defense interests all meet in the same area. Due to the ongoing water crisis with the Ogallala Aquifer along with conservation efforts for the Lesser Prairie Chicken, burrowing owl, and monarch butterfly, Cannon was able to receive this designation by the federal government today.  Farmers close to Cannon have partnered with the Ogallala Water Conservancy and have since changed their agricultural practices to reduce water use and aid the goal of lifting the burden on groundwater in the Sentinel Landscape. This benefits not only the Air Base, but the people of Curry and Roosevelt counties as well.  The designated Sentinel Landscape spans 2.4 million acres, with Cannon and Melrose Air Force Range at the heart of the scape.

Dr. Ladonna Clayton, who is tackling our water crisis head on with her team at the Ogallala Water Conservancy, said the takeaway after today’s designation is “We have taken aggressive action as a collective through very solid collaboration, leveraging the power and importance of so many partners to save our water and to become water resilient,”.

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