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gb
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PostMon Nov 30, 2015 8:44 am 
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From Save The Olympic Peninsula:

Government agencies now challenging Navy's environmental assessments


In our last update we stated that the Navy's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for its Northwest Training and Testing activities was legally insufficient for several reasons. Among these reasons was the Navy's failure to base the analysis of the noise impacts of the proposed Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range (EWR) on real aircraft sound measurements and actual flight paths.

Recent pronouncements from other governmental agencies support this view. The Navy is now possibly beginning to see that its house of cards is tumbling down. In this respect a brief history is appropriate.

Remember the Navy first attempted to sneak approval of the EWR through on the basis of an Environmental Assessment (EA) that was not advertised, as Forest Service regulations required, in the Peninsula Daily News. Also remember that the maps included in that EA failed to show Olympic National Park, Lake Quinault, and any of the rivers on the Olympic Peninsula. Out of sight, out of mind, was obviously the principle the Navy was hoping for here.

The EA only addressed the impacts of the proposed emitter vehicles on the Forest Service roads.   There was no study of the impacts on Olympic National Park or Lake Quinault. There was no mention that the Park was a World Heritage Site. The EA misrepresented the appearance of the emitter vehicles as being similar to camper vehicles, and it misrepresented the emitters themselves as being similar to ships' radars. There was no consideration of the impacts of the noise or electromagnetic radiation that would be emitted from the electronic attack jets training in the EWR.

Despite this totally inadequate and extremely limited analysis of the impacts, the proposed order allowing the EWR was written to allow enhanced levels of electronic warfare training (which includes both surveillance and attack), and to provide growth in future training requirements, and to maximize the ability of local units to train. In other words, on the basis of an extremely limited study of emitter vehicles portrayed as everyday camper vehicles, the proposed order attempted to open the floodgates to any and all types and numbers of electronic warfare jets and weapons that came down the pike.

Beginning to see the errors of its ways, the Navy added two appendices to the FEIS that purportedly analyzed the noise impacts from the jets using the EWR, and the impacts of the EWR on the World Heritage Site. Neither of these analyses, however, was based on real aircraft sound measurements and actual flight paths. The Navy is now being told by other governmental agencies that this is not acceptable.

In a November 6, 2015, article in the Peninsula Daily News, a representative of the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise (FICAN) was quoted as saying "it is difficult to determine if the predicted noise exposure and noise measurements made in Olympic National Park are consistent with one another" and went on to call for additional noise monitoring "to have confidence in noise exposure estimates due to Navy flight operations."

And in a November 11, 2015, article in the Peninsula Daily News, the State Historic Preservation Officer criticized the Navy for cutting off its consultation regarding the impacts of the Navy's activities on historic properties. The issue there, as indicated in a November 19, 2015, letter from the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to the Navy, was a request by the State Historic Preservation Officer for "additional information . . . on flight patterns of aircraft takeoffs and landings, specifically asking about noise effects to historic properties below those flight patterns." The ACHP's letter went on to say that "the Navy has not yet fully addressed the SHPO's request for additional information."

Finally, a news release issued by the Navy on Sunday, November 15, 2015, said the Navy "was completing consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)." The FWS is responsible for issuing biological opinions clearing the Navy's activities under the Endangered Species Act."

It is perhaps a good sign that consultation with the FWS has not yet been completed. With FICAN saying that real noise measurements must be taken to have any confidence in the Navy's analysis, and with the Historic Preservation agencies saying they must have actual flight path information before they can determine the impact of the Navy's operations on historic properties, we can still hope that the FWS will see the light in this regard before completing consultation. Any biological opinion written without that information would not be worth the paper it is written on.

It is only a matter of time, and the expense of bringing a lawsuit, before a court will tell the Navy the same thing, unless the Navy will do the appropriate studies using the appropriate data.
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Randito
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PostMon Nov 30, 2015 9:20 am 
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Long existing thread on this topic.

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8013068
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RodF
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am 
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Save the Olympic Peninsula wrote:
It is only a matter of time, and the expense of bringing a lawsuit, before a court will tell the Navy the same thing, unless the Navy will do the appropriate studies using the appropriate data.

It proved to be only a matter of time, before...

2017: Case filed in Federal District Court.

2018: Case dismissed.

2019: Dismissal appealed to Ninth Circuit.

2020: Appeal dismissed.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Ski
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PostFri Feb 07, 2020 2:36 am 
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that's okay... Bob Ferguson has picked up the torch on this one....

http://www.savetheolympicpeninsula.org/

don't expect them to give up on this one soon. wink.gif

Kalaloch Beach 3 082019 01
Kalaloch Beach 3 082019 01

hope you're above the high water mark up there, Rod.

-BK

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RodF
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PostSat Feb 08, 2020 11:45 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Bob Ferguson has picked up the torch on this one....

The outcome is very likely to be the same as two recent, noteworthy cases bearing on the Constitutional separation of powers.

"These are solutions that must be effected through the political branches of government, and not the judicial branch." - Aji P. v State of Washington

"We reluctantly conclude, however, that the plaintiffs’ case must be made to the political branches or to the electorate at large, the latter of which can change the composition of the  political branches through the ballot box." - Juliana v United States

These decisions are very well-written and well reasoned, so I commend them to you.  (The difference is that, in the present case plaintiff's allegations are not well established, while in both the above cases, the facts are solidly established and were not even at issue.)

These policy decisions are made by Congress, and we voters may require they be addressed.  It is not within the authority of the courts to impose a remedy.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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PostSun Feb 09, 2020 3:46 am 
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RodF wrote:
"The outcome is very likely to be the same ..."

On that point we are in agreement, but that may or may not be for the reasons you've cited.
That's the reason I have chosen not to invest myself in the issue to any significant degree. I gave them the okay to use the photo. That's about as far as I'm going to go.
Candidly, I think Ferguson could use his time more constructively, but I appreciate his zeal and for reasons I'm sure you understand I wish them the best of luck.
Unfortunately, luck doesn't generally affect pubic policy, particularly where it concerns DoD.
wink.gif

BK


* And for the record: nothing could ever make me change my mind about the NAS Whidbey fly-overs being an inappropriate use of the airspace over a National Park - it is an outrageous and obscene blight on the soundscape - analogous to the proverbial turd in the punchbowl - for which there is no valid explanation or reason. Ergo, notwithstanding the futility of the efforts of Ferguson (or S.T.O.P.), I will still be flipping them off and bitching about it to anyone who will listen until I draw my last breath. *)

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Feb 14, 2020 5:14 pm 
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Can't figure out which mountains in the US it would be OK to fly training over, in, and through without the same complaints.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Ski
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PostFri Feb 14, 2020 7:42 pm 
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^ That's not my problem.

Somewhere other than the airspace over a National Park.

If this were Yellowstone or Yosemite or Grand Canyon people would be coming out with their torches and pitchforks.

This is simply NOT acceptable over the airspace of a National Park.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Feb 14, 2020 9:05 pm 
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All potential wars are in the Middle East and South Asia. There is tons of similar terrain in eastern CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO, and WY with few to complain.

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graywolf
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PostFri Feb 14, 2020 9:25 pm 
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Ski wrote:
^ That's not my problem.

Somewhere other than the airspace over a National Park.

If this were Yellowstone or Yosemite or Grand Canyon people would be coming out with their torches and pitchforks.

This is simply NOT acceptable over the airspace of a National Park.

Absolutely agree.

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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 12:20 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
All potential wars are in the Middle East and South Asia. There is tons of similar terrain in eastern CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO, and WY with few to complain.

The terrain is irrelevant. Radio waves behave the same everywhere. Flying thousands of miles away to conduct this training is unreasonable.

The military needs to be more closely in view of our society at large, not shuffled off to places where it won't offend anyone.
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MtnGoat
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 10:02 am 
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Especially places which do not exist where no one will be offended. What we have here is a NIMBY issue which applies everywhere. The idea you can simply go fly over desert where no one cares is a non starter, as someone there will care too. i bet there are a zillion enviro groups poised to take offense if routes were simply placed there because folks somewhere else are offended over use of airspace over local mountain ranges. There's a rare bug, animal, plant or whatever there too, including the sensitive ears of environmentally sensitive enthusiasts of the desert.

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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 10:14 am 
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Nothing wrong with NIMBY issues I do not want a feedlot built Nextdoor. There are already EW ranges over desert areas from Nellie, China Lake, Fort Irvin, Randsberg Wash, Groom Lake, etc. Locals are fine with it because that’s where they work.

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MtnGoat
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 10:19 am 
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The issue is not just EW ranges, it is mountain flying in different environments which all have different characteristics.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 10:33 am 
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I think the last issue that raised ire was the prospect of letting Army helicopter pilots use high altitude training sites within the Cascades rather than have to fly all the way to Fort Bliss, Texas. Of course that went nowhere and now millions of dollars are spent on just getting to pre-deployment training locations 1,300 miles away.
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