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Natural Resources

Recovery and Sustainment Partnership Initiative

The Recovery and Sustainment Partnership Initiative (RASP) builds on years of collaboration and innovation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) between the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior (DOI). The partnership was formalized in 2018 to develop and promote species conservation while promoting increased flexibility for military mission activities. The RASP was established to better address the dynamic relationship between species needs and mission activities and demonstrates how collaborative partnerships can achieve real-world successes for both military readiness and species conservation.

The RASP utilizes the following strategies to achieve its goals:

  • Develop innovative regulatory approaches and tools for achieving the intent of the ESA in a manner consistent with both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and military mission needs and objectives;
  • Develop collaborative conservation initiatives to enhance species conservation, advance species recovery, and preclude the need to list additional species;
  • Recognize and respond to the current and projected impacts of climate change on ecosystems and watersheds, and on the species within those ecosystems and watersheds; and
  • Recognize successes in support of conservation goals and targets.

DoD plays a critical role in managing habitats on its installations and ranges across the country that support over 550 threatened and endangered species under the ESA, as well hundreds of additional species at risk for listing. The RASP supports ongoing natural resource management and partnership efforts to address imperiled species, important habitats, invasive species, and other key natural resources, which in turn helps avoid or minimize mission impacts while enhancing species conservation and increasing habitat connectivity.

Natural Selections Newsletter

RASP Memorandum of Understanding (2024)

RASP Memorandum of Understanding (2018)

DoD Natural Resources Program

A representation of some of the focal species under the Recovery and Sustainment Partnership (RASP) Initiative.
DoD-DOI Recovery and Sustainment Partnership (RASP) Initiative
Mission Priority and Sensitive Species List
Species Scientific Name USFWS Lead Region
5 San Clemente Island Species:
  • San Clemente Bell’s sparrow
  • San Clemente Island paintbrush
  • San Clemente Island larkspur
  • San Clemente Island lotus
  • San Clemente Island bush mallow
  • Artemisiospiza belli clementeae
  • Castilleja grisea
  • Delphinium variegatum spp
  • Acmispon dendroideus var. traskiae
  • Malacothamnus clementinus
Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Stephens’ kangaroo rat Dipodomys stephensi Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Guam orchid Tuberolabium guamense Pacific (Region 1)
Desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Golden-cheeked warbler Setophaga chrysoparia Southwest (Region 2)
Red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis Southeast (Region 4)
Okaloosa darter Etheostoma okaloosae Southeast (Region 4)
Hawaiian stilt Himantopus mexicanus knudseni Pacific (Region 1)
3 snails on the Island of Guam:
  • Guam tree snail
  • Humped tree snail
  • Fragile tree snail
  • Partula radiolata
  • Partula gibba
  • Samoana fragilis
Pacific (Region 1)
Inyo California towhee Pipilo crissalis eremophilus Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Sonoran pronghorn Antilocapra americana sonoriensis Southwest (Region 2)
Eastern indigo snake Drymarchon couperi Southeast (Region 4)
California least tern Sterna antillarum browni Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Marbled murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus Pacific (Region 1)
Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus Midwest (Region 3)
4 Bats:
  • Indiana Bat
  • Northern Long-eared Bat
  • Tri-Colored Bat
  • Little Brown Bat
  • Myotis sodalis
  • Myotis septentrionalis
  • Perimyotis subflavus
  • Myotis lucifugus
Midwest (Region 3);
Northeast (Region 5)
Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly Euphydryas editha taylori Pacific (Region 1)
Mazama pocket gopher Thomomys mazama Pacific (Region 1)
Streaked horned lark Eremophila alpestris strigata Pacific (Region 1)
Least Bell’s vireo Vireo bellii pusillus Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Spotted Turtle Clemmys guttata Southeast (Region 4)
Gopher Tortoise Gopherus polyphemus Southeast (Region 4)
Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake Crotalus adamanteus Southeast (Region 4)
Northern Red-bellied Cooter Pseudemys rubriventris Northeast (Region 5)
Alligator Snapping Turtle Macrochelys termini Southeast (Region 4)
Gopher Frog Lithobates capito Southeast (Region 4)
Wood Turtle Glyptemys insculpta Northeast (Region 5)
Western Pond Turtle Actinemys marmorata pallida Pacific Southwest (Region 8)
Blanding’s Turtle Emydoidea blandingii Midwest (Region 3)
Western Spadefoot Spea hammondii Pacific (Region 1)
Florida Pinesnake Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus Southeast (Region 4)
Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Washington Office (HQ)
Cerulean Warbler Setophaga cerulea Midwest (Region 3)
Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus
Henslow’s Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii Midwest (Region 3)
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera Midwest (Region 3)
Bachman’s Sparrow Peucaea aestivalis Southeast (Region 4)
Least Tern (Atlantic Coast Population) Sternula antillarum Washington Office (HQ)
Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus Mountain Prairie (Region 6)
Tricolored Blackbird Agelaius tricolor Pacific (Region 1)
Southeastern American Kestrel Falco sparverius Paulus Southeast (Region 4)
Pinyon Jay Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus Mountain Prairie (Region 6)
Greater Sage-Grouse Centrocercus urophasianus Mountain Prairie (Region 6);
Pacific (Region 1);
Pacific Southeast (Region 8)
Bendire’s Thrasher Toxostoma bendirei Mountain Prairie (Region 6)
Greater Prairie-Chicken Tympanuchus cupido