Unnamed Resolution to President Johnson on the Sensitivity of Island Biota

WHEREAS, the biota and ecosystems of remote and uninhabited islands are unique, delicate and easily destroyed by human presence; and

WHEREAS, many of these islands have been set aside as National Wildlife Refuges for the specific purpose of preserving the unique flora, fauna and other features; and

WHEREAS, in recent years military and other government-sponsored organizations have occupied refuges on some Aleutian Islands and Hawaiian Islands without notifying refuge managers or without obtaining guidance on care and protection of these refuges; and

WHEREAS, it appears questionable that the public interest was served by classifying as secret the 1964 operations on Amchitka Island; and

WHEREAS, destruction of wildlife by personnel occupying refuge islands is reported; and

WHEREAS, many refuge islands' floras and faunas were irreparably damaged by vehicles and by introduction of nonnative rats during World War II; and

WHEREAS, already rare and endangered wildlife species have, in recent years, been subjected to additional harassment by personnel of the military and of other government sponsored organizations;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Society of Mammalogists requests President Lyndon B. Johnson to issue instructions that under no circumstances will parties of government-employed personnel, or personnel of organizations acting under government contract, visit or establish camps or undertake any activity on uninhabited islands without first consulting with officials directly responsible for the protection of flora and fauna on those islands; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that military and other personnel who are to be stationed on or visit islands having unique biota, whether these islands be inhabited or uninhabited, be instructed through a formal course of training on the care and preservation of the unique biota of islands.