Using linear programming to optimize rehabilitation and restoration of injured land: an application to US army training sites Academic Article uri icon


  • Rehabilitating damaged lands is often necessary to repair environmental damage from natural and man-induced activities. Damage and its rehabilitation present a trade-off in cost where increasing rehabilitation costs reduce the cost of damage. To manage this trade-off a Linear Program (LP) was formulated to minimize the cost of rehabilitation plus damage. The cost minimization techniques were applied to the Fort Carson Military Reservation in Colorado. This fort sustains heavy military training activity and is characterized by diverse terrain and complex vegetation. Data were obtained from site assessments and interviews with land managers, rehabilitation cost information was used to arrive at five treatment alternatives available for each acre identified as needing rehabilitation. The program identified the optimal treatment schedule given limited resources including budget and three kinds of land; grassland, shrubland and woodland. The results suggest that such LP formulations can provide an important tool for military land managers seeking cost-effective rehabilitation of their sites. The LP application provided an insightful and convenient way to optimize the schedule of treatments that would minimize total cost across the different cover types while producing ancillary output on the value of additional budget and land. The process has potentially broader appeal as a tool to guide land managers in the optimal allocation of rehabilitation resources.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Environmental Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Tucker, J. L., Rideout, D. B., & Shaw, R. B

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Tucker, Janet L||Rideout, Douglas B||Shaw, Robert B

publication date

  • February 1998