The United States Navy has responded to environmental groups in the Northern Marianas which have indicated they plan to sue for alleged failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act.
The environmental groups are concerned that while 23 new plant and animal species have been listed as endangered or threatened, the US Navy has continued training.
Legally, the military should consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service over the listings and curtail current activites.
A military spokesman, Lieutenant Tim Gorman, said in a statement that while it is essential the military has realistic training options, it also recognises it has environmental responsiblities.
Tim Gorman says the Navy will continue to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
Tim Gorman's full statement:
"The Navy is aware of the contents of the letter but it is our practice not to comment on possible or pending litigation. It is essential that Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Soldiers have realistic training on land, at sea, and in the air that fully prepares them to prevail when and where necessary. Recognizing our environmental responsibilities, the Navy and Marine Corps have been, and will continue to be good environmental stewards as we prepare for and conduct missions in support of our national security. The Navy will continue to work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure our compliance with the Endangered Species Act."