2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 7 Apr 2003 14:53:14 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Safe havens vs. military training
North Carolina
Mon, Apr. 07, 2003
Safe havens vs. military training
Defense officials seek to ease environmental rules
Staff Writer

FAYETTEVILLE -- Fort Bragg takes pride in its ability to grow endangered
woodpeckers, butterflies and plants amid bombing ranges and

Bragg is among the military bases that serve as unlikely havens for some
of the Carolinas' rarest species. But now the Defense Department is
telling Congress a different story: environmental laws are getting in
the way of training for war.

The department has asked for exemptions to parts of five laws, including
the Endangered Species Act. Advocacy groups are alarmed, accusing the
Bush administration of rolling back environmental protection and setting
a precedent other federal agencies may follow.

Defense officials told Congress last week that environmental regulations
and growing development around the nation's military bases undermine a
key goal of training: to mimic real combat conditions.

"You're going to train just the way you're going to fight," said Col.
Addison Davis, garrison commander of Fort Bragg.

Critics say Bragg proves military training and environmental protection
can thrive together.

As the world's largest Army base, Bragg houses 46,000 soldiers. But it
also nurtures the second-largest population of an endangered bird, the
red-cockaded woodpecker.

"In many ways, they are the benchmark other land managers should aspire
to," said Andrew Wood of Audubon North Carolina, which last July named
Bragg an Important Bird Area. "It's just a mystery to us why this is
suddenly so imperative."

Davis says Bragg would not immediately benefit from the Defense
Department's proposal for changes in federal laws that regulate
endangered species, marine mammals, air pollution, hazardous waste and
toxic cleanups.

Woodpecker numbers on the post, in fact, are expected to grow within
five years to a number at which they won't need protections that
restrict training, Bragg biologists say.

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