Press Release Aug 1, 2017

Forest Service Green Lights ‘Growler’ Jet Flights Over Olympic National Park

In a move that endangers natural quiet in Olympic National Park, the U.S. Forest Service approved a permit for the U.S. Navy to use roads just outside the park in support of electronic warfare training for “Growler” fighter jets.

Background: In a move that endangers natural quiet in Olympic National Park, the U.S. Forest Service approved a permit for the U.S. Navy to use roads just outside the park in support of electronic warfare training for “Growler” fighter jets.

In releasing its decision notice, the Forest Service found that installing mobile signal transmitter trucks in Olympic National Forest to aid U.S. Navy fighter jet training missions would pose no significant environmental impacts. The Navy proposal calls for increased jet training flights over portions of Olympic National Park, including the popular Hoh Rain Forest and wilderness beaches.

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

“National Parks Conservation Association is disappointed that the Forest Service has chosen to listen to Navy jets rather than the public, and is subjecting Olympic National Park visitors and wildlife to increased overhead aircraft noise. Noisy fighter jets, aptly known as ‘Growlers’, flying over Olympic National Park will degrade one of our countries quietest places – Olympic National Park – as well as surrounding communities and public lands.

“The Navy has alternative locations for these training missions which do not involve flying over Olympic National Park. While the Navy has other options, there is only one Olympic National Park, one of the most natural sounding places left in the contiguous United States, and the most visited national park in the Northwest. The Olympics should sound like a national park, not a Navy airbase.

“We will carefully review the Forest Service decision and continues to urge the Navy to use other locations to meet its training needs.”

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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 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.