Navy SEAL use of state parks appears over – Seattle Times – Update

The attempt to turn our state parks into training grounds for the military is over for now. The lack of concern by many citizens, including those in roles who’s charters clearly gave them authority to simply speak out against it, like our Port Commissioners and Marine Resources Committee members back in 2016, showed a lack of will to take a stand when needed. Luckily, others came forward to write the Parks Commissioners and fight it in court. Eventually, organizations like the MRC did come around and issue letters of concern.

Not wanting to rock the boat on issues like this, is no excuse for inaction. Thanks to those who did the right thing to challenge this.

Navy SEAL use of state parks appears over as state declines to appeal judge’s decision

I also received this email today.

“In your Olympic Peninsula Environmental News post today titled “Navy SEAL use of state parks appears over,” you implied that the Jefferson County MRC was silent on the issue of naval special operations training in our State Parks. To the contrary, the MRC did write an advisory letter in January 2021 to the Board of County Commissioners, who forwarded our concerns to the Parks and Recreation Commission. Our letter may be found on the Jefferson MRC website at  It would be helpful if you would correct this for the record in your newsletter.

I’m happy to hear that the Jefferson MRC finally did take a stand on this issue. I was a member of the MRC from 2010 to 2019, and during the time of my being chair and beyond, I did attempt to raise this issue and seek a letter taking a stand. At that time, with the membership it had, there was no interest in doing that. Now, with a somewhat different set of members, it appears that they have accomplished it. I am supportive of the MRC following it’s charter to seek to protect the waters and shoreline of Jefferson County.

3 Responses

  1. It takes courage and persistence to fight for our rights at every level. Unfortunately, not many politicians or organizations have the will or courage to do so – and that is a sad commentary on our society. As you mention, thankfully there are people who will stand up and speak up against any injustice or unfair treatment, even at the risk of being criticized.

    • Yes, and in this case it was a group of private citizens who spent years of hard work, taking time out from their lives to see that the quality of life for ALL of us in the Puget Sound region was not diminished by the unlawful presence of the military in our state parks. They not only wrote to our representatives, but they also traveled to Olympia and to various locations throughout WA State to attend Parks Commission meetings, they gathered petition signatures, they made phone calls, they did interviews and wrote to newspapers, they and their families endured constant bullying and abuse from those who did not understand that the military has no right to flaunt lawful process; essentially their lives were dedicated to this project for some years. And they succeeded. We owe it all to NIOP and WEAN members.

  2. Please thank Not In Our Parks and Whidbey Island Environmental Action Network – they are the ones who led the effort and got the job done!

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