Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Charles A. Bleckmann, PhD


This research analyzed the United States Air Force's ability to meet the two conditions required for exemptions of critical habitat designations that are authorized under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004. The research was limited to natural resources management on United States Air Force training ranges. Department of Defense exemptions can only be achieved if two conditions exist: the management activities must meet the intent of the Endangered Species Act and conserve the threatened and endangered species identified on the lands managed under an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), and the plan must ensure that there are adequate resources dedicated to accomplishing the management activities identified in the INRMP. The status of the U.S. Air Force's natural resources managers' ability to achieve the two conditions identified in the new law is unknown and needs to be explored to fully understand its impact. This study sought to explore this and other issues, using electronic, internet-based surveys as the primary data collection tool. Phenomenological Analysis was used to perform an in-depth review of selected issues that were identified via the survey. The results of this project showed that the U.S. Air Force's natural resources managers have INRMPs in place and have dedicated the resources needed to implement management polices identified in those plans. An unexpected conclusion from the research was a need for the U.S. Air Force to strengthen its education process for implementing new policies resulting from the implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004. (1 table, 1 figure, 17 refs.)

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number