Eglin Air Force Base (Eglin) supports 309 active clusters, making it the fourth largest red-cockaded woodpecker population. During a 7-year period from 1994 to 2001, Eglin's red-cockaded woodpecker population increased 42%, making Eglin the fastest-growing large population of red-cockaded woodpeckers. This progress toward recovery would not have been possible were it not for profound changes in Eglin's land management programs, the involvement and participation of numerous universities and conservation organizations, and most importantly, changes in the attitudes of military and civilian leaders and natural resources managers. Prior to and during the 1980s, Eglin was failing to meet requirements of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA) and the base wide red-cockaded woodpecker population was declining. In 1989, Eglin consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on a major test program with potential for adverse impacts to red-cockaded woodpeckers. Eglin received a jeopardy opinion from the USFWS citing the decline of red-cockaded woodpeckers and lack of information and effective management. Ironically, historic land management practices, in particular overharvest of longleaf pine and fire suppression, were the main causes for the population decline and the jeopardy opinion. This prompted major changes in the leadership's perception of environmental regulations, their impact on the military mission, and the relationship of natural resources management to the military mission. A comprehensive base-wide red-cockaded woodpecker survey was conducted and 2 additional positions were added to the natural resources staff. Eglin's Natural Resources Branch underwent a major transformation from a single-species management approach emphasizing fire suppression and timber and game species production to an ecosystem and biodiversity conservation approach. The forestry program was refocused to achieve restoration goals through standard and nonstandard forestry practices. Partnerships were developed with universities to obtain better information about status and trend of Eglin's red-cockaded woodpecker population and to test the effectiveness of management operations through a large-scale adaptive management experiment. There are still challenges to overcome to achieve the recovery of red-cockaded woodpeckers on Eglin, associated with meeting annual burning objectives and reducing losses of old-growth longleaf pine; however, the future remains bright. © 2004 Ralph Costa. Abstract reproduced by permission.