Flower delisting helps base earn top environmental award

Managing the comeback and delisting of the Eggert's sunflower is one of the reasons why Arnold AFB won the 2006 Gen. Thomas D. White Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation.

Managing the comeback and delisting of the Eggert's sunflower is one of the reasons why Arnold AFB won the 2006 Gen. Thomas D. White Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation.

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE. Tenn. -- Arnold AFB received an early Christmas present in the form of the 2006 Gen. Thomas D. White Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation.

A major accomplishment leading to this Air Force-level award was managing the comeback and delisting of a federally threatened species, the Eggert's sunflower.

Arnold is the first installation in the Air Force to manage the comeback and delisting of a federally threatened species. The flower was considered endangered for seven years, and even though it is now delisted, the base continues to closely manage it.

Every other year Air Force installations larger than 10,000 acres are given the chance to compete for the Gen. Thomas D. White Natural Resources Management Award. This award recognizes excellence in managing natural resources to support the military mission and stewardship mission goals of the Air Force. Arnold AFB was the installation selected by Air Force Materiel Command, Arnold's parent command, to compete for the Air Force-level award.

Arnold AFB and eight other winners are now eligible for the Secretary of Defense environmental awards. The Air Force captured three of nine Secretary of Defense environmental awards in 2005.

Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, the top Air Force civil engineer, named nine installations and one individual as winners of this year's awards.