Andy Stahl / Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics – 2015-02-28 19:54:46
Help End Militarization on Our National Forests!
Andy Stahl / Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
(February 28, 2015) — Did you know that rangers aren’t the only ones wearing a uniform on your National Forest lands? When you think of your National Forests, you probably don’t envision military jets screaming overhead, radiation-spewing mobile transmitters parked alongside public access roads or high-tech war games.
Yet that’s just what the Forest Service and the US Department of Defense have in mind for Washington state’s Olympic National Forest one of the most beautiful and untrammeled corners of your public lands and on your forests around the nation. [See story below for more details â€“ EAW]
But the Olympic proposal is not unique. Military installations dot the landscape of your public forests. From an Air Force bombing range on Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest to an Army research lab atop Colorado’s Pikes Peak to a mountain-warfare training center in Nevada Forest Service rangers are hardly the only ones in uniform on your National Forests.
Even more problematic most military activities on National Forests are not only inappropriate; they are illegal. Except in cases where Congress has specifically approved a military use of our National Forests, these activities violate forest plans and policy.
FSEEE is determined to put a stop to this unethical and illegal military takeover of the Olympic National Forest. We will win the fight against the Navy’s reckless scheme for this cherished forest, and then we will take the fight to any other National Forest that the Department of Defense treats like de facto military bases.
None of us at FSEEE harbor any ill will toward our nation’s military. We honor the brave men and women who serve our country. But our nation is founded on laws. The management of your precious National Forests is governed by laws. No individual, no entity including the US Department of Defensee should be allowed to ignore those laws.
With FSEEE’s help, local residents are fighting militarization on your National Forests. Now it is time for forest advocates like you to join us as we strive to end the illegal, unethical, dangerous and environmentally damaging military uses of your National Forests.
Please stand with us as we defend your precious public lands.
Andy Stahl is the Executive Director of FSEEE.
Olympic War Exercises Decision Delayed
Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
January 16, 2015 â€” A decision on a controversial Navy proposal to conduct high-tech military exercises in Washington’s Olympic National Forest will be delayed until next summer, Forest Service officials say.
The Navy wants to station three “mobile transmitters” on logging roads in a dozen locations in the national forest. The vehicles would emit electromagnetic signals mimicking hostile transmissions that Navy jets would try to identify and intercept.
Navy officials need a special use permit from the Forest Service to proceed with the plan.
Dean Millett, the Olympic district ranger charged with deciding whether to approve the Navy’s request, said the Forest Service received more than 3,000 comments on the plan.
He said Olympic National Forest officials may call in an “enterprise” unit to help analyze public input. That would consist of Forest Service employees skilled in evaluating controversial projects.
“Right now, we’re trying to determine how to handle all that feedback,” Millett said. “Very ballpark, I think it will be about mid-2015 before we know whether we’re going to approve the Navy’s request.”
Residents of the Olympic Peninsula are concerned the transmissions could harm people and wildlife. The Navy’s plan calls for deploying the transmitters up to 260 days a year.
When in use, operators would be required to place warning tape around the transmitters and to post signs advising of “Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard.”
Navy officials say the transmissions would be aimed up to the sky, and that they would pose no threat to humans or wildlife. They say the project would save taxpayers money and allow Navy pilots to spend more time with their families.
Currently, pilots must fly 400 miles from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station to Mountain Home, Idaho, to conduct such training.
Local residents are also concerned about increased noise from the EA-18G Growler jets that fly over the national forest and the adjacent Olympic National Park. The Navy wants to add as many as 36 Growlers to its Whidbey Island fleet.
Port Townsend resident Karen Sullivan is helping organize opposition to the Navy’s plan. She says local residents are concerned about a marked increase in Navy activity on the peninsula and in surrounding waters.
Sullivan fears Forest Service officials feel obligated to allow the Navy to conduct war exercises on national forest lands.
“At all the public meetings, whenever the Forest Service was asked a question, it was the military person who answered,” she said. “The sense of entitlement that the Navy has with regard to the Olympic National Forest is pretty shocking.”
Navy officials have also proposed deploying mobile transmitters on the Okanogan and Colville national forests in Washington.
PS: None of us at FSEEE harbor any ill will toward our nation’s military. We honor the brave men and women who serve our country. But our nation is founded on laws. The management of your precious National Forests is governed by laws. No individual, no entity includiing the US Department of Defense should be allowed to ignore those laws!
PO Box 11615, Eugene, OR 97440. www.fseee.org