Focus on SERPPAS

serppasWhile researching a Prescribed Fire Smoke Management Pocket Guide, we found that it was created by the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils (CPFC) and SERPPAS.

The CPFC is a pretty straight forward organization with a governing board comprised of the typical mix of government, industry, and NGO representatives. Their mission is also predictable based on the name:

…promote the appropriate use of prescribed fire for enhancing public safety, managing resources, and sustaining environment quality.

But we had never heard of SERPPAS, which stands for Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability. Their name includes no clues about their purpose. We wondered if it could be natural resource planning, financial planning, career planning, or community planning? The organization’s About Us web page is very vague about what they do, but mentions natural resources. If you dig deeper and click on Read More in the Mission section, you will find that two of the organization’s four objectives are related to national defense and military base realignments and closures.

  • Promote improved regional, state, and local coordination;
  • Manage, sustain, and enhance natural, economic, and human resources as well as national defense;
  • Develop and complete regional sustainability projects supporting the sustainment of natural, economic, and national defense resources related to base realignment planning in the southeast region as well as other identified sustainability needs; and
  • Develop a GIS Sustainability Decision Support Tool that integrates federal, DoD, military services, and state data for use in regional planning by SERPPAS and individual states.

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is a process of planning the closure of military installations after the end of the Cold War. More than 350 installations have been closed in five BRAC rounds: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005.

Of the 24 principals and co-chairs listed at SERPPAS, one third of them work for the Department of Defense. Others are employees of the U.S. Forest Service and several state forestry organizations.