Military

Photos: Conservation officers patrol Joint Base Emendorf-Richardson

Guardians of wild places and wildlife, conservation officers might not seem to be a huge cog in the machine of Alaska's expansive military bases. But they quietly keep the peace between thousands of troops and their families and the untold number of wild animals that call the base home. On Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, three federal officers and a few dozen military members patrol areas that are full of wildlife as some of the most remote places in the Last Frontier.

In fact, JBER just might be one of the most wild places in the Anchorage Bowl. Unlike much of the state's largest city, a majority of JBER remains undeveloped. In addition to the housing complexes, hangars, airstrips and other military buildings, JBER is home to a menagerie of wild animals. And the installation packs a lot of different terrain into an area about the size of Seattle, Wash.

"It's not so much the size as it is the habitat," said JBER's senior conservation law enforcement officer, Mark Sledge. "We go from the Arctic alpine all the way down to coastal mudflat, so we have all those different environments."

Read more: Military wildlife officers manage everything from wolves to people on JBER

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