From the West Coast Action Alliance:
The Navy has opened for comment an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Special Operations in which Navy SEALs stage covert small team landings via mini-subs and small boats, with up to 20 personnel concealing themselves ashore for up to 72 hours, plus mock gun battles with paintballs, called “direct actions.” Although the Navy owns 46 miles of shoreline in the Pacific Northwest and over 151,000 acres of land here, this combat training will occur in our communities, boat marinas, 65+ state parks, public beaches, and on some private lands in Puget Sound and on the outer coast. It’s possible that this training may entail climbing some of the steep glacial till cliff faces around Port Townsend, which local residents and property owners know are already dangerously eroding. One of the places selected for mock gun battles with paintballs includes the memorial peace park atop the bluffs at Fort Worden, which some residents interpret as a stick in the eye, not to mention being an assault on a place that has historic, cultural and spiritual value.
And here is how you can submit official comments – Click here.
Here’s a map of training sites. Click to enlarge. Purple = combat training. Most of these are civilian populated areas with ecologically sensitive shorelines.
Paul Kampmeier of Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, attorney for OFCO, presented oral arguments in the case on appeal by Coast before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 8. View the video from the court here.
The court will give its ruling on whether Coast was required to apply for an NPDES permit under the Clean Water Act in the next few months.
With appreciation to Paul for his dedicated defense of the marine waters of the OP!
Please click here to review background information.
The Olympic Forest Coalition has submitted a comment on the National Park Service’s Mountain Goat Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Our colleagues of the Olympic Park Associates are requesting that our members write and express their support for a modified Alternative D. Click here to view OPA’s web page.
OFCO supports the capture and removal of non-native goats, with their relocation to the North Cascades which have declining populations, and lethal removal. While the lethal removal of invasive non-native goats is a heartbreaking option, the removal plan from the 1980s failed to stop the destruction of alpine habitats and allowed this aggressive species to increase in population at 8% per year. This has led to further degradation of natural areas, public safety problems in popular recreation areas and a tragic death. Click here to see OFCO’s comment. Please consider the issue carefully, review the science and plan, and write a comment today!
– Sam Beebe/Ecotrust
OFCO Board VP Lorna Smith has spearheaded OFCO’s request to Governor Jay Inslee to permanently ban Atlantic salmon net pens in marine waters off the Olympic Peninsula. Click here to see OFCO’s letter. Commissioner of Public Lands Hillary Franz called for a temporary ban after the disastrous release of non-native Atlantic salmon from Cooke Aquaculture’s Cypress Island operation.
The State has temporarily suspended new net pen permits while they investigate the incident. Click here to view the State’s Incident Command page. OFCO has asked the Governor to ban all non-native net pens in Washington, to close existing ones and to stop any permitting of future pens. The damage has been done, however. According to Smith, tribal natural resources agencies have reported gravid Atlantic salmon upstream. On September 15, Washington State Dept. of Ecology ordered Cooke to turn over information by Oct. 30.
DOE is pursuing Cooke’s violation of state and federal law. The Dept. of Natural Resources’ longer-term plans include recovery of salmon, developing better oversight of existing net pen operations, but not a ban. Tribes on the OP are calling for a ban to protect native fish following efforts to capture released fish in an attempt to prevent their entering Washington’s rivers.
The solution: a long-term ban and payment of clean-up and damages by Cooke. Watch for updates as a campaign for a permanent ban develops.
Recommended for viewing to learn more about the issue: Salmon Confidential, a documentary about net pens in Canada.