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Washington state sued for allowing military training in state parks

daftandbarmy

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Oops....


Washington state sued for allowing military training in state parks

The Whidbey Environment Action Network (WEAN) filed a lawsuit Monday against the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission seeking to overturn a Jan. 28 decision to allow Navy SEALs to train and conduct undercover surveillance on unknowing park visitors.

The Jan. 28 decision passed by a narrow 4-3 vote, allowing the U.S. Navy access to 28 coastal state parks in the Puget Sound, the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the outer Washington coast.

The training involves Navy SEALs landing on shorelines, climbing upland and conducting covert surveillance of plainclothes military personnel interacting with unknowing park visitors.

If a park visitor gets too close to a SEAL, military personnel will try to discourage the park visitor from being in the area. The decision also allows the Navy to prevent boaters from using the park waterfronts.

“Despite overwhelming public opposition, the commission approved this grossly incompatible use,” said Steve Erickson, a lawyer for the WEAN. “Allowing military training in state parks is terrible policy. It’s also illegal.”

A growing group of people opposed to the war training have organized into a coalition, Not in Our Parks. They have called for a statewide Day of Action on Saturday, March 13 to protest the decision.

Their website, notinourparks.org, contains information and resources, including a history of the dangers of military training in Washington state parks.

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/wa...bfISgqvUg5OwnlfvsLpeJL_xYOv1Lij5NGMOBKYp0665A
 

Colin Parkinson

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Considering many of the parks are old military reserves and installations, maybe the public should be thankfully the military preserved the areas. Plus it sounds like the Seals are practicing against other military members wearing civy clothes! Imagine military people dressed like normal people, it's insidious and a threat to democracy, plus none of the clothes are Name Brand.....
 

Blackadder1916

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The US Navy was previously permitted use of five (5) state parks for this training purpose for a period of five years from May 2015. The Navy's original request (2014, but the Navy used the parks without permission for decades prior) was for use of some 70+ parks, this latest request tried for 29 locations. The press release from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission concerning this latest approval only says "several parks" and does not yet identify them. More details about restrictions in this.

The history of this issue over the years (from the state parks commission's viewpoint) is well documented at this page (lots of links).

Objections to this type of use of the parks is not new.
https://citizensofebeysreserve.com/2017/05/02/militarization-of-public-lands-by-navy-meeting-may-4/
 
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CBH99

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I don't really see what the big deal is??

Most of these expansive natural areas are there because the military preserved them, are on military lands, etc etc.

If the SEALs are training to conduct covert surveillance on plainclothes military members, and plainclothes military members casually keep the public away from stumbling upon a SEAL pretending to be a bush...who cares? There doesn't seem to be military hardware, excess noise, aircraft, etc etc.

shrug


PS - Also a nice casual reminder to the public. These military personnel, which you most likely wouldn't even know were there, are the same folks who make sure bombs aren't going off in your neighbourhoods, and will come get you no matter what should you happen to find yourself in trouble while travelling.

If there was an environmental concern, then that should be addressed. But causing a fuss about something that you wouldn't even know was happening if it wasn't for the media release? Bugger off.

0.02
 

daftandbarmy

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Considering many of the parks are old military reserves and installations, maybe the public should be thankfully the military preserved the areas. Plus it sounds like the Seals are practicing against other military members wearing civy clothes! Imagine military people dressed like normal people, it's insidious and a threat to democracy, plus none of the clothes are Name Brand.....

In the UK there's not alot of space, and people are generally more military-friendly, so it's quite common to see platoons of heavily armed troops jogging along beside civvy hill walkers etc. in the various parks.

In the US, the opposite might be true.
 

Blackadder1916

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In the US Washington State the opposite might be true.

FTFY . . . maybe? Some states have a "tree hugger" reputation. But then, remember JADE HELM 15 and the reaction in Texas and other southern "military friendly" states? You might find a mixed reaction depending on where one lives in Washington. If one had a significant connection to the US Navy (employment, business, veteran, family . . . ) this may be a shrug of the shoulders. If you have coastal property near one of the many military installations (often adjacent to the parks they want to use), you may not appreciate the air traffic overhead disturbing your one-percenter expensive search for tranquility, so any intrusion, no matter the visibility, is unacceptable. Sorta reminds me of the numerous times that my neighbours in the village of Schuttern complained to me following a Sunday of touch and goes (usually by Luftwaffe Phantoms) on the Lahr runway.

It really doesn't matter that some (?, probably few) of the parks may have had a military connection in the past. All of the properties were acquired by the State of Washington by either purchase or donation for the specific purposes of recreation or conservation. Of the five parks that were listed on the 2015 permit (possibly the same for this new permit), only one had been a military installation. Being more familiar with national and provincial parks that are often measured in hundreds of square miles, the ones being used are dinky in comparison.

Fort Flagler Historical State Park (1,451 acres, this looks really interesting, may have to visit in the future, though I won't be sneaking in during the night)
Blake Island Marine State Park (1,127 acres, accessible only by boat)
Illahee State Park (86 acres)
Scenic Beach State Park (121 acres)
Mystery Bay State Park (18 acres)
 

infant

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In the UK there's not alot of space, and people are generally more military-friendly, so it's quite common to see platoons of heavily armed troops jogging along beside civvy hill walkers etc. in the various parks.

In the US, the opposite might be true.
This reminds me of the front page news in New Westminster, New West News Leader (now defunct and their lead editor Chris Bryan sent packing) July 10, 2013. Local resident was "gobsmacked" by local regiment doing a BFT through the local park (that was a km from the regiment). Was greeted by the supervising Captain, and didn't raise any concerns, but then called the police (who had been informed and told them there was nothing to be concerned about), then went to the fire department (who also couldn't help them with their concern) and then spouted off to the local newspaper who decided it was front page news. Wish I could find a link to the article.. Well not really.
 

daftandbarmy

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This reminds me of the front page news in New Westminster, New West News Leader (now defunct and their lead editor Chris Bryan sent packing) July 10, 2013. Local resident was "gobsmacked" by local regiment doing a BFT through the local park (that was a km from the regiment). Was greeted by the supervising Captain, and didn't raise any concerns, but then called the police (who had been informed and told them there was nothing to be concerned about), then went to the fire department (who also couldn't help them with their concern) and then spouted off to the local newspaper who decided it was front page news. Wish I could find a link to the article.. Well not really.

I used to be a member of that regiment. It has one of the strongest ties to the local community I've ever seen, especially with the Mayor and City Hall (right next door), and we still had problems, as you described, on a regular basis.
 
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