Camp Shelby buys 1,500 acres to increase its buffer zone

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Camp Shelby is expanding its buffer zone with an addition of 1,500 acres purchased from Weyerhaeuser.

These buffer zones are used to insulate the surrounding community from noise and debris from the base. The approximately 1,500 acres is located adjacent to Camp Shelby and will be placed in a trust with the Compatible Lands Foundation that performs conservation efforts on military buffer zones.

The Army Compatible Use Buffer Program is also part of the Department of Defense's environmental protection plan.

Camp Shelby Commander Col. Brad Smith said, "You don't want incompatible development next to a military installation. We make noise. We call it the sound of freedom and we make noise. We have to maintain those buffers."

For the first time a portion of the buffer zone will be registered to take advantage of California's Carbon Credit Market which would generate over $10 Million over the life of the project.

Lt. Col. Joe Knott, Ret. with the Compatible Lands Foundation said, "It's great for the base; that's what the buffer program is all about, but in my humble opinion it's also good for the community because it makes the vitality of Camp Shelby even stronger. It also produces jobs and keeps those jobs here to help support the carbon project."