Submitted by Washington State Parks
On Dec. 22, staff of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission released a State Environmental Policy Act Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance finding for the United States Navy’s application to conduct special operations training at 28 state parks in western Washington along the Pacific coast and Puget Sound.
The MDNS places conditions on the Navy’s request that would ensure no impacts to the environment would occur from the proposed activities. The public can review the SEPA determination at https://parks.state.wa.us/865/SEPA-review—-current.
If the public wants to comment on the SEPA threshold determination documents, they can do so by providing written comments at https://parks.state.wa.us/865/SEPA-review—-current. SEPA comments must be received by Jan. 6.
Following the release of the SEPA review, the commission will hold a virtual special public comment meeting on Jan. 26. At the comment meeting, the public can provide oral comments on the proposal directly to the commission before the item is presented for a decision.
The Navy proposal is anticipated to be on the agenda for consideration at the next regular commission meeting on Thursday, Jan. 28.
The public must register in advance to provide oral public comment. Registration opens at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, on the Navy Training Proposal webpage, https://parks.state.wa.us/1168/Navy-training-proposal. The public will find additional information about registration and participation at https://parks.state.wa.us/1168/Navy-training-proposal.
Anyone who wants to participate, but not give oral comment, can view the meeting on TVW or via phone.
In compliance with the Public Open Meetings Act, a meeting space is available for the public to come and watch the meeting unless the governor waives this requirement in an executive order prior to the meeting. Commissioners and staff will participate remotely and will not be onsite/in-person.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will hold a special public comment meeting on U.S. Navy training proposal form 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26. You can watch the meeting at https://www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2021011044, or phone in by calling 312-626-6799 or 888-788-0099 (toll-free), the webinar ID is 979 7491 6906.
Other options to participate include appearing in person at 1111 Israel Road SW, Tumwater, Washington. The public can provide written comments on this proposal at any time by visiting https://parks.state.wa.us/1168/Navy-proposal; emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; or sending mail to WSPRC, Attn: Becki Ellison, PO Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504.
The U.S. Navy has a history of conducting special operations training in Washington State Parks. For many years, the Navy worked directly with parks to coordinate training. In 2015, Parks issued a five-year right-of-entry permit to the Navy allowing for regular training in five parks. That permit expired in May 2020.
The Navy submitted its most recent applications in February 2020.
The Commission has five regular meetings a year in pre-determined locations around the state. Time for public comment is provided at all regular meetings. A full agenda for the public comment meeting is available on the parks website, https://parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-meetings-agendas.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is made up of seven citizen volunteers appointed by the governor to staggered six-year terms. The commission is charged with providing policy direction for the agency.