The Fayetteville Observer has an important article out today on Ft. Bragg and its red-cockaded woodpeckers. The bottom line is that protection of the endangered woodpeckers is no longer a problem at the base. Why? Simple: The Army figured out what’s good for the woodpecker is also good for the Army.

[Mike Lynch, who retired last year as Fort Bragg’s director of Plans, Training Mobilization and Security] said the post eventually took on the larger view that conservation is good. If the post didn’t take on the larger goal, it could find itself in similar situations with other species.

“It’s a lot bigger than one species,” said Lynch, who led much of Fort Bragg’s efforts to conserve habitat and work with other landowners in the region to create buffer zones around the post. “There are dozens of other species overing on the watch lists.”

The end result, however, is better training lands.

Officials regularly burn parts of Fort Bragg, which opens up land for training and keeps away the dense brush the red-cockaded woodpecker dislikes…

“We’re no longer adversaries,” he said. “It’s really just about managing the training lands properly. If Fort Bragg does that, the woodpecker is going to do fine.”