RLUAC Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary and Launches a New Fort Bragg JLUS
On Thursday, November 17th, RLUAC celebrated its 25th Anniversary with the recognition of past and present leaders, a review of its major accomplishments, an address by retired Maj. General Al Aycock, and the kick-off of its new Department of Defense sponsored Joint Land Use Study.
Gen. Aycock, who once served as Fort Bragg’s Garrison Commander, praised RLUAC’s efforts to protect the installation’s training areas from “incompatible urban development”, the safety of the surrounding civilian population, and the sustainability of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem. Without RLUAC, Aycock said that the missions at Fort Bragg would have been threatened and possibly lost to other installations. “You protect vital military training for the first forces called to war”, he said. He added that RLUAC’s impact extends far beyond the Fort Bragg region. “RLUAC is the poster child for cooperation between military installations and their surrounding communities”, he said.
Jim Dougherty, RLUAC’s Executive Director, highlighted a number of major RLUAC accomplishments that included the successful conduct of three Joint Land Use Studies, a Light Pollution Study, a Telecom Tower Study, creation a major GIS database (that is available for use by the general public), changes to the NC Real Estate Commission’s “Real Estate Disclosure Statement” (requiring the identification of military impacts), genesis of the “All American Trail” proposal (currently 21 miles long), identification of 30,000 acres of land surrounding Fort Bragg that required protection from development, and the review of over 1,000 local government rezoning, subdivision and telecom tower proposals for compatibility with the fort.
Jason Epley, President of Benchmark Planning and project team leader, officially launched RLUAC’s new Joint Land Use Study and introduced other members of the study team. He also outlined the scope and major elements of the study.
In additional business, RLUAC approved a Board of Directors’ recommendation to renew the terms of the current officers for an additional two years. The reelected officers include Town of Wagram’s Robert McLaughlin, Chairman; City of Raeford’s John K. McNeill, Vice Chairman, and Harnett County’s Mark Locklear, Secretary.