Posted by: arbeam | March 21, 2021

Legislative Affairs Corner

Navy Special Warfare Allowed to Train in Washington State Parks.  On 28 January, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, in a 4 to 3 vote, approved a 5-year permit allowing Naval Special Warfare personnel to train in 17 Washington State Parks.  Navy SEALs and Special Boat personnel will be allowed to exercise in State Parks during periods and in areas where public access is restricted.  Essentially, this will allow training after dark in “Day Use” areas to prevent military-public interaction.  The use of 17 State Parks after dark is less than the Navy had requested. However, it was a substantial increase over the previous permit that expired in 2020 which allowed access to five parks.  Northwest Region Navy League Councils played a significant role in making the Parks and Recreation Commission aware of the critical role this training plays in preparing Naval Special Warfare personnel for operations in cold-water regions. 

5 Reasons to Support Naval Special Warfare Training in Washington State Parks

  1. The Navy identified Puget Sound waters and shoreline property, including unique Washington State Park terrain, as critical to training Naval Special Warfare personnel.
  2. Use of Washington States Parks for training by Naval Special Warfare personnel has taken place, under permit granted by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, for many years without environmental harm, incident or adverse interaction with the public.
  3. Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Staff personnel have certified that pervious Naval Special Warfare training activities in Washington State Parks resulted in no adverse impact on Washington State Parks environments and no complaints from public park users. 
  4. The Navy has agreed to all additional Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission-imposed limitations on Naval Special Warfare training activities within designated Washington State Parks based on environmental and public interaction concerns.
  5. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will consider a staff report on Naval Special Warfare training in approved Washington State Parks at the end of 2021 to review environmental impact or public interaction.

What you can do!

Send the following statement and any of the above 5 points to Governor Jay Inslee, the Chair of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, and your Washington State Senator and Representative(s).

“I support the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s decision to allow Naval Special Warfare personnel to conduct mission essential training in approved Washington State Parks. Training within approved Washington State Parks is critical to the Naval Special Warfare mission and Navy personnel have already proven they can conduct this training without harm to the environment or adverse public interaction.” 

Contact the Governor

Letter or Post Card:

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002O 

Electronic Message: https//www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message

Contact the Chair of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Letter or Post Card:

Michael Latimer

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commissi
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650

Email:  commission@parks.wa.gov

Contact your Washington State Senator and/or Representative

Electronic Message:

https://app.leg.wa.govmemberemail/legislature


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