- Robert BonnieUnderSecretary of Natural Resources and Environment
- Tom TidwellChief, US Forest Service
Don’t move warfare range to protected lands
The US Navy is requesting a permit to practice Electromagnetic Warfare in public lands of Washington State. The Range would include airspace of Olympic National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Olympic National Forest, and Olympic National Marine Sanctuary.
We request the US Forest Service DENY the permit. These priceless sanctuaries, which belong to the people, MUST be protected.
This region provides refuge for more than 29 species of marine mammals, including migrating Grey whales, and two species on the brink of extinction, the marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl, who thrive only in quiet old-growth forests. No studies have been done on what the noise would do to wildlife.
The permit would allow squadrons of extremely loud Electronic Attack Growler jets to fly as low as 1200 feet for 8-16 hours/day directly over their habitat. The deafening noise would destroy the serenity and wilderness experience for millions of visitors to Olympic National Park, designated the “quietest place” in America.
Each Growler carries thousands of gallons of highly flammable fuel. A crash would be catastrophic, as unprecedented drought has made the Park’s ancient temperate rain forests extremely vulnerable to fire.
The permit would allow the Range to accommodate “all future training needs”, including the jamming of signals. Electronic attack radar jamming would shoot down into the landscape, subjecting people and wildlife to undisclosed levels of electromagnetic radiation. Current science reveals that even low levels of man-made electromagnetic radiation are harmful to many biological processes.
The US military already has millions of acres of barren lands set aside for dangerous weapon testing and training. The Navy currently trains at Mountain Home, Idaho, a 20-minute commute for pilots. Navy officials say that Olympic Peninsula is wanted for “efficiency”.
It is unconscionable that the US government would subject citizens to harmful electromagnetic radiation and jet noise without their informed consent. These priceless sanctuaries must be fiercely protected from this dangerous military use.
A worldwide public outcry is needed to prevent this impending tragedy. Time is of the essence! Please sign this petition andshare it widely using social media. Thank you.
Short video of the crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiWCA-X9ihM&feature=youtu.be
WHY HERE? Navy Commander who trains pilots says “efficiency”: http://vimeo.com/118631144
- UnderSecretary of Natural Resources and Environment
- Chief, US Forest Service
I have just signed a petition that opposes the Navy’s plan to convert the western half of the Olympic Peninsula into an Electromagnetic Warfare Range. I believe that you, As Under Secretary of America’s Natural Resources and the Environment, have the power to honor the people’s voice in this issue by insuring that the USFS denies this permit.
I can understand that the US military is trying to meet the challenges of national security that America faces today. However, we cannot allow the seeds of fear to override good judgment or our deepest values. In 1938, President Franklin D Roosevelt created Olympic National Park, and he did so to protect this land forever for future generations. During World War II, he refused the Army’s request to use part of Yosemite National Park for bombing practice. With that decision, the message was clear: America’s National Parks must stay intact to protect wildlife; the Parks themselves must be shielded from military use, even during a world war. These lands must again be fiercely protected from inappropriate and harmful military use.
Given the current drought on the Olympic Peninsula, it would be irresponsible to introduce yet another fire risk to these extremely valuable, and vulnerable, ancient forests. Also, the deafening roar of the warjets poses a significant risk to endangered wildlife and would destroy the serenity of the wilderness experience for millions of people.
Over three million people visit Olympic National Park every year, many from other countries. Until science proves that this electromagnetic radiation is NOT harmful to human health, do you find it morally acceptable for our government to expose these citizens and their families to this radiation without their informed consent? I don’t, and neither do the thousands of others who are protesting this plan. See:
The consequences of this decision are of such magnitude for both public health and public land use that a global dialogue is needed about it-- BEFORE any decision is made. Scientists and public health experts would need to participate in this dialogue to educate all of us on the risks of this electromagnetic radiation, using the latest science.
Yet, as of this date, the greater American public does not even know about this decision, which will apparently be made by a handful of USFS employees, none of whom have any scientific or medical training. Former USFS Chief Michael Dombeck made great efforts to insure that American citizens were able to fully participate in decisions about their public lands. He stated: “these are the people’s lands, and their voices will be heard.” Why has the greater American public not been included in this decision, Mr. Bonnie?
Establishing the Range now and mitigating later is NOT acceptable because the Navy will be accountable only to itself. There are no agencies or funds to monitor the undisclosed levels of radiation; thus there is no guarantee that people won’t be harmed. Unfortunately the US Navy has repeatedly disregarded citizens’ health concerning extreme noise levels from their aircraft; thousands of stressed citizens have been forced to take on costly lawsuits to protect themselves from being harmed. See:
It is clear that establishing the Range now, and mitigating these harmful impacts later, spells disaster for these lands, the public, and for future generations. I, along with many others, believe that if this permit were granted, it would be a decision that America and the world would come to deeply regret for generations.
Thousands of citizens, including concerned military personnel, believe that the Navy can meet America’s national security needs without sacrificing public health or this irreplaceable National Treasure. Continuing pilots’ training without interruption at Mountain Home Base is the most viable and sensible solution.
By denying this permit, Mr Bonnie, you continue the legacy of America’s greatest leaders; true public servants who displayed courage and foresight in their conviction that our deepest values must be upheld under all challenges. You also have the support of the people, who now need you to prove that America is still a true democracy—a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
I thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and for honoring the peoples voice. It is a strong and unified voice, proclaiming that our deepest values of caring for creation and protecting public health need to supersede those of military efficiency or convenience.
Olivia DeLucca’s short story about this issue has inspired many children to write you their own personal letters of concern regarding the future of these public lands. Would you share this story with your own children to hear their views about this permit decision? After all, these Emerald Forests---the ancient forests of Olympic Peninsula-- belong to them.
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