Press Release Nov 30, 2016

Forest Service Advances Proposal, Poses Harm to Olympic National Park

In a move that stands to forever harm the natural quiet soundscape of Olympic National Park, the U.S. Forest Service released its final review of proposed roads and infrastructure to be used within Olympic National Forest. Such infrastructure would support electronic warfare training operations by the U.S. Navy.

Background: The U.S. Forest Service released its final environmental review of proposed roads and infrastructure to be used within Olympic National Forest. Such infrastructure would support electronic warfare training operations by the U.S. Navy.

Within its final review, the Forest Service found that installation of mobile transmitters within the national forest, used to aid U.S. Navy growler jets in training missions, would pose no environmental impacts. The electronic warfare training operations would fly over portions of Olympic National Park, including the Hoh Rain Forest and wilderness beaches.

Below is a statement by Rob Smith, Northwest Regional Director for National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)

“NPCA is disappointed that the Forest Service did not recognize the impacts to nearby Olympic National Park visitors and wildlife in making its final decision. With a proposal to increase the number of jets, known as ‘growlers,’ flying over Olympic National Park and the surrounding peninsula, one of our country’s quietest parks will be forever changed.

“The Navy has noted that the Olympic Peninsula is a non-essential area for its training needs. There are far more appropriate locations the Navy can, and should, consider that wouldn’t disrupt the natural quiet that benefits visitors and wildlife alike in Olympic National Park.

“While Olympic National Park is one of the most visited natural treasures in the Pacific Northwest, it remains one of the quietest places. These values are beloved by millions of Americans who find solace in our national parks each year, and are worth preserving.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.