NO WAR GAMES IN WASHINGTON STATE PARKS – ACT TODAY!

We are passing along this important notice from WEAN (Whidbey Environmental Action Network).

YOU CAN DO SOMETHING. Now is the time!


NO WAR GAMES IN WASHINGTON STATE PARKS

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

The Navy has proposed training Navy SEALs in 73 state parks in Washington, including four state parks on Whidbey Island: South Whidbey, Fort Casey, Fort Ebey and Deception Pass. State parks are public refuges where people enjoy recreational activities, commune with nature and seek spiritual renewal.

It is against Washington Parks and Recreation Department policy to restrict public access to state parks. However, SEAL training exercises sometimes require a safety buffer of 500 – 1000 meters that would be maintained by Navy support teams of up to ten people. SEALs will enter the state parks by either water or land and try to conceal themselves from public view while ordinary citizens are in the parks. However, there are reports of people witnessing SEAL trainings in public parks and docks currently being used by the NAVY for training. In the proposed plan, the Navy would be using U.S. citizens, without their consent, as part of the Navy’s training exercises. In the Navy’s plans it is possible that unsuspecting citizens would encounter Navy SEALs carrying guns. And because we live in a highly weaponized country the potential of accidents could be high. In addition, there are veterans dealing with PTSD, camped out in the woods on Whidbey. And if one of them encounters a boatload of soldiers carrying guns it could create a potentially dangerous situation for both the vet and the SEALs.

TAKE ACTION:

The most important action you can take is to contact the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. It is the State Parks Commission that will decide if this will be allowed, not the Navy.

WASHINGTON STATE PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

Commission@parks.wa.gov
I am writing to urge you not to allow the US Navy to use our state parks for covert military training. The Navy wishes to use the parks for commando training, complete with armed personnel “hiding in the weeds” as a local newspaper described the plan.
The Navy wants to use South Whidbey, Fort Casey, Fort Ebey, Deception Pass and 69 other state parks. But our state parks are not for war games. They are for peaceful recreation and conservation. Use of the parks for military training is not consistent with the vision and mission of Washington State Parks.
I urge you to adopt a formal policy prohibiting use of all state parks for military training. Please inform me of your action on this and any opportunities for public comment.

CC YOUR MESSAGE TO:

Gov. Jay Inslee govenor.jayinslee@governor.wa.gov
State Rep. Norma Smith norma.smith@leg.wa.gov
State Rep. Dave Hayes dave.hayes@leg.wa.gov
State Sen. Barbara Bailey Barbara.Bailey@leg.wa.gov

Send a copy to Whidbey Environmental Action so we know how the campaign is going: WEAN@whidbey.net

Comments can also be sent to the Navy until May 18 at: nwnepa@navy.mil
However, it is far more important to contact the State Parks Commission, Gov. Inslee, then our state representatives.

Thanks to the Whidbey Island Friends Meeting (Quakers) Peace and Social Concerns Committee for background information.
——————————————
Whidbey Environmental Action Network
Preservation Education Restoration
Box 53, Langley, WA 98260
(360) 579-4202
wean@whidbey.net
www.whidbeyenvironment.org

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