ANALYSIS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE’S POLICIES TOWARD PROTECTED SPECIES
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States has had an increased interest
in national defense and military readiness. Current Department of Defense spending has
increased substantially over the past year in the areas of national defense and military readiness.
Early attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act
within the US House of Representatives were blocked. However, the $400 billion defense
appropriation bill, Public Law 108-136, seeks to weaken the Endangered Species Act and the
Marine Mammal Protection Act to improve military readiness and national defense. Section 318
of the defense appropriation bill seeks to weaken the Endangered Species Act by precluding the
designation of critical habitat on military installations. Section 319 of the bill seeks to weaken
the Marine Mammal Protection Act by allowing the Navy to conduct research and training
necessary to national defense even if those activities kill marine mammals.
A policy design theory analysis shows that the Department of Defense has two different
standards for land and marine species; land based organisms will receive high protection under
the law, however, marine based organisms will receive minimal or no protection. The rationale
and assumptions of section 318 seem to be sound because of the long running tradition of
successes of endangered species management on military installations and the limited inclusion
of critical habitat in endangered species management. More research needs to be conducted on
the impact of the SURTASS LFA sonar system on marine mammals before the assumptions and
rationale of section 319 can be determined to be correct.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:department of defense endangered species act esa marine mammal protection mmpa surtass lfa sonar system
Date of Publication:01/01/2004