By  | 

Tyndall Air Force Base has 18 miles of coastline on the Gulf of Mexico and a vast expanse of undeveloped Panhandle property.

Experts speculate Tyndall will survive when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issues his recommendations for base closings and realignments this month.

Tyndall's location along the joint-use airspace known as the Gulf Range makes the base valuable to the military for weapons testing.

But members of the Bay County Audubon Society are pushing for legislation to protect the base's unspoiled lands if the 29,000 acre base gets axed. The base staff is launching a baseline survey this summer to measure the status of indigenous vegetation.

Environmental enhancement projects already include dunes restoration, sea turtle nest monitoring and forest management.