World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement by its vice president Ginette Hemley in reaction to Senate passage of a measure to exempt the Department of Defense from provisions of the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts, in the name of military readiness.
"It does no honor to America's veterans when the Senate uses the laudable goal of military readiness to wage an unprovoked attack on our wildlife and environmental values.
"America's natural heritage is among the values our military men and women have long fought to protect. For years our military has maintained the world's best-prepared fighting force while upholding safeguards that protect the nation's natural resources for future generations.
"The Senate's decision to grant a blanket environmental exemption to the Department of Defense threatens values that most Americans care deeply about, while doing nothing to improve national security.
"Congress should honor America's military by maintaining its commitment to protect our country's natural treasures, not by surrendering them to the empty claim that they interfere with military readiness."