2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 25 Mar 2003 22:28:17 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Environmentalist Overkill Threatens Military Lives
Environmentalist Overkill Threatens Military Lives
By Harold Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 20, 2003

Will soldiers and Marines die in the Persian Gulf so gnatcatchers and
other federally protected birds and animals may live?

Rigid application of environmental laws -- spurred by lobbying and
lawsuits from "green" groups that are stronger on zeal than common sense
-- risks lives by undermining military readiness.

In outposts across the country, cumbersome land use rules give Osama and
Saddam reason to smile. At Fort Hood, Texas, use of camouflage netting
is limited for the sake of protected birds. In Arizona, practice bombing
runs are cancelled when antelope wander within five kilometers of a
target area. Night maneuvers in the Southwest have gone the way of the
dodo in deference to desert tortoises. Low-level combat flying in Idaho
has ended so elk can mate undisturbed.

Species safeguards are particularly subversive at Camp Pendleton, near
San Diego. Pendleton is the West Coast's largest training facility with
125,000 acres stretching from the ocean to the Santa Ana Mountains.
Leathernecks trained here for the Iwo Jima invasion and many major
deployments since. The Corps' oldest and most decorated division, the
1st Marine Division, now assigned to the Persian Gulf, calls Pendleton

Tojo's warriors couldn't humble Pendleton's finest, but environmentalist
shock troops are giving it their own shot.

A new lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defense Council would bar
exercises near "critical habitats" for six species, including the
gnatcatcher (a small insect eating bird), the tidewater goby and the
arroyo toad. When added to areas already off limits, the new
restrictions will put nearly 60 percent of Pendleton out of commission.

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