Navy special forces use state parks for training – PT Leader

News has now officially broke in the Port Townsend Leader that the Navy has been using using our public beaches, for night time war games training for Navy Seals and others. The issue here is very clear: This is all new expansion of Navy uses of public lands without consultation of the the public.  The total number of sites includes Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, Fort Casey, The Port Townsend Launch Ramp, Port Ludlow and Mystery Bay. 

Until very recently, I lived a short walk from Fort Worden. I am astonished that public officials from the Parks decided, in secret, to allow this kind of use. While the park is technically closed after dusk, many people stay in the park, in campers. It is certainly likely that some of them are armed, legally, and could be out taking a pee or walking a dog late at night. Coming across heavily armed landing parties is a recipe for disaster. As is the notion of a PR flack running up and yelling that it’s the military and it’s ok.

We are watching our way of life changing with a Navy presence that we never were allowed to question, or debate in public. Is this what we want? Random night landings by armed troops? Low flying high speed unmuffled jets roaring right along the border of a heavily used National Park, where people come to seek solitude and peace in nature? What are we becoming?

The environmental angle to all this is that none of this is covered by the Navy EIS, unless they are interpreting it different than written. Clarity is needed.

The Navy has millions of acres, all over the US, that have been traditionally used for training. I, and many like me, did not move here because we thought that this kind of training was happening. It wasn’t happening and they have decided to do it wihout debate. 

Can any of you imagine if this was happening all along Seattle beaches and parks? What kind of outcry their would be? They do this because they believe that they can get away with it. Thanks to Truthout for surfacing the original story, and to the Port Townsend Leader for finding out the existing storyline.

We can stop this behavior now. Call your elected officials.

Washington State Parks has issued a right of entry permit to the U.S. Navy that allows nighttime training exercises at five state parks, including Fort Flagler State Park and Mystery Bay State Park.

Brian Hageman, manager of Fort Worden Area Parks, told the Leader that the Navy has used Fort Townsend and Fort Flagler state parks and has at least once in recent years used Fort Worden.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks Steve. I’ll do that. The SEPA exemption is a good point. What’s your email?

  2. I’ve just spoken with the statewide SEPA official at Washington State Parks. He himself was unaware of the permit(s) issued and SEPA exemption previously granted in the 2012-2014 time frame. Contact me offline if you want me to pass his contact information along to you.

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