In order for the Olympic Peninsula to be turned into an Electronic Warfare Range, the Navy and Forest Service must first follow the law. They have not.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) has been violated multiple times. So has the National Forest Management Act. How?
1. The Navy has segmented its public process into many confusing pieces, making it almost impossible for the public to follow and understand.
2. They did not notify the public about their Environmental Assessment, and as a result, received no public comments. Only people who comment during the specified time have legal standing to mount a challenge.
3. The Forest Service is expected later this month to announce that it is adopting the Navy’s claims of no significant impacts despite serious procedural and biological flaws, without conducting its own scientific investigations, and despite 4,000 public comments, all but 31 opposed. Is that fair?
Most people would agree that regardless of how anyone feels about jet noise or electromagnetic radiation or sonar or air and water pollution, a FAIR PUBLIC PROCESS (click here) is in everyone’s interest. What would that look like? For starters, a full, complete and comprehensive EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) needs to be done. The State DNR did the right thing by declining to participate in Navy war games, at least until a fair and complete process is done. Write or call your elected representatives to encourage them to speak out, and to demand a fair process. In America, following the law shouldn’t be considered an unreasonable request.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There will be a comment period after the Forest Service announces its Draft Decision Notice sometime in September. Start preparing your comment letters now. We will notify you when and where to submit comments, and will provide as much information as possible to help you make your comments substantive.