Natural Resources



Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma is the busiest air station currently utilized by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and serves as a base of operations for Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1, which trains aircrews and support personnel in advanced aviation warfighting techniques.

With management responsibility for both the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range (CMAGR) and the Barry M. Goldwater Range–West (BMGR-W), MCAS Yuma is presented with the unique challenge of managing natural resources on more than 1.1 million acres of land—the most of all USMC installations. The foundation for meeting this challenge begins with each range’s Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), a long-term strategic plan required by the Sikes Act Improvement Act of 1997. Implementation of INRMPs not only protects the long-term sustainability of natural resources occurring on CMAGR and BMGR-W, but also serves to support the military’s combat readiness mission by ensuring continued access to realistic training conditions. Additionally, MCAS Yuma Natural Resource staff provide regulatory guidance and oversight for biological resources relating to all activities conducted on lands within the installation’s management authority.

Management Philosophy


The DoD has modified its land management focus over the past two decades from the protection of individual species to ecosystem management. The two principal reasons for these changes are (1) the Sikes Act emphasis on promoting effective wildlife and habitat protection, conservation, and management; and (2) the concern that a disproportionate amount of attention in the past has been placed on managing the needs of individual, high-profile species in possible conflict with underlying ecosystem functions.

Ecosystem management incorporates the concepts of biological diversity and ecological integrity in a process that considers the environment as a complex system functioning as a whole, not as a collection of parts. In its application, a goal-driven approach is used to manage natural and cultural resources in a manner that supports present and future mission requirements; preserves ecosystem integrity; is at a scale compatible with natural processes; is cognizant of nature’s timeframes; recognizes social and economic viability within functioning ecosystems; is adaptable to complex and changing requirements; and is realized through effective partnerships among private, local, state, tribal, and federal interests.

Public Engagement Opportunities

Public Engagement Opportunities

Pursuant to the Public Law 106-65 and the Sikes Act, MCAS Yuma collaborates closely with two partnership forums: the BMGR Executive Council (BEC) and the Intergovernmental Executive Committee (IEC). The BEC includes representatives from all neighboring federal and state land management agencies and is focused on leveraging the collective knowledge of the group to develop solutions to localized issues that may affect military training on the BMGR. In conjunction with the BEC, the IEC engages the public and special interest groups to exchange views, address concerns, disseminate information, and generate discussions relating to the management of natural and cultural resources throughout the region. Through the BEC and IEC, collaborative resolutions to potential natural and cultural resources issues and other land management issues can be achieved before negatively impacting the military mission at the BMGR. MCAS Yuma encourages any member of the public and/or special interest group to participate in the IEC.

BEC Charter
BEC Memorandum of Understanding
IEC Memorandum of Understanding

Meeting Information

Meetings are held on a quarterly basis and are rotated between Yuma, Ajo, Tucson, and Phoenix to facilitate increased interest and engagement within these communities. Please see below for details regarding the next IEC meeting, as well as, minutes from previous meetings:

January 11, 2023 Minutes

May 10, 2023 Agenda

May 10, 2023 Minutes

September 13, 2023 Agenda

Next Meeting: The BEC-IEC will take place on September 13th, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at the Arizona Game and Fish Region IV Office in Yuma, AZ.

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma