Rehabilitation of Military Training Areas Damaged by Tracked Vehicles at Fort Carson, Colorado
ARGONNE NATIONAL LAB IL
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The U.S. Army installation at Fort Carson, Colorado, has a long history of tactical training activities by tracked and wheeled vehicles. These training maneuvers have caused extensive damage to the soils and vegetation of the semiarid pinyon-juniper woodland and shortgrass prairie ecosystems of the installation. The resulting erosion and loss of training realism are serious problems for the Army. The goal of this Facilities Engineering Applications Program FEAP project was to develop and demonstrate ecologically effective and economically feasible soil rehabilitation and revegetation techniques to increase soil stability and provide a more realistic training environment. In areas where training traffic was excluded, vegetative cover increased and the percent bare ground decreased on both treated and untreated shortgrass prairie areas. The prairie areas receiving the revegetation treatment are recovering faster and have higher percentages of desirable native grasses both volunteer and planted than the untreated areas, which tend to recover more slowly and have less grass cover and more weedy species. The pinyon-juniper areas are recovering more slowly due to harsher site conditions.
- Civil Engineering
- Combat Vehicles