Navy shouldn’t take public space for training

Editor,

We are very alarmed by the potential impact of two bills now in committee at the state Legislature, that may affect citizens’ use of Deception Pass State Park, South Whidbey State Park and 20 other Puget Sound and Washington coastline parks.

House Bill 2341 and Senate Bill 6456 gives priority to military land use over civilian land use, not only adjacent to a military base but if the land is in the vicinity of a military installation. Civilian use of land may be denied if development may interfere with the military’s current or future requirements. This language is vague and will result in military overreach in control of privately owned or publicly protected lands, such as state and other parks.

One hidden message in these proposed bills is that the U.S. Navy should be granted use of our parks as staging locations for shore and land assault practice for the Navy Seals. If allowed, Navy Seal assault teams will secretly approach the park shorelines in full weaponry, leaving whatever craft deposits them, to swim and creep onto the shore, avoiding detection and remaining in place to assess their success. The parks will not be closed to the public during these training sessions and may result in accidental confrontation with park visitors.

The U.S. Navy should use the miles of Puget Sound and ocean beach shoreline that they already possess for their U.S. Navy Seals training.

If you believe that our parks are needed for peaceful family recreation and quiet places of greenery and restoration of mind and spirit; and if you believe that this is encroachment of the military onto public parklands, please send your emails to U.S. Navy at nwnepa@navy.mil and to Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission at Commission@parks.wa.gov

This commission will make the final decision as to whether the U.S. Navy Seals will be allowed to use our Washington state parks for combat training.

Try to attend the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) public meeting 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Oak Harbor School District, ASC Board Room.

Cynthia Kaul

Keith Anderson

Langley

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter:Shout out to local restaurants for being very child-friendly

Editor, I wanted to take a moment to thank all the restaurants… Continue reading

Letter:A story of ‘adventure’ with WhidbeyHeath referral

Editor, This may amuse other Whidbey residents who’ve dealt with WhidbeyHealth. A… Continue reading

Letter: Drunk driving laws in state need to be reviewed, improved

Editor, I don’t write letters normally, and here I am with the… Continue reading

Letter: Contrast between Trump, Obama could not be any greater

Editor, During the first weekend of September we witnessed a memorial service… Continue reading

Letter: Reasons to elect Janet St. Clair as commissioner

Editor, I’m voting for Janet St. Clair for Island County commissioner 3.… Continue reading

Letter: The loud ‘sound of freedom’ drowns out everything else

Editor, It’s 6 p.m. A gorgeous, warm, late summer evening. But we… Continue reading

Letter: Ultimate Frisbee a safer sport than football — switch it out

Editor, I read with pleasure the article last week about local Whidbey… Continue reading

Letter: Buyers beware of the listed property descriptions online

Editor, Talk about ‘caveat emptor.’ I recently submitted a complaint to the… Continue reading

Letter: Striving to provide the best in recreation programs, parks

Editor, We write this letter to thank the South Whidbey community for… Continue reading

Letter: Restoration project needs experts who’ve walked beach

Editor, Small fish were jumping by the dozens in the Hidden Beach… Continue reading

Letter: Administration spouts lies, nonsense; vote in November

Editor, “Truth isn’t truth.” Come on, Giuliani, what kind of baloney is… Continue reading

Letter: Teachers deserve excellent, salaries, sustainable ones

Editor, The South Whidbey School District is currently bargaining with its teachers.… Continue reading