2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 28 Nov 2003 20:47:05 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Boaters ask Navy for better test range notice
Boaters ask Navy for better test range notice
By Patrick J. Sullivan
Wednesday November 26, 2003

Jefferson County turned out the largest audience for the U.S. Navy's
series of four public meetings relating to the proposed extension of its
Northwest Range Complex operating area, including Hood Canal.

The three common threads among the hearings, heard loud and clear in
Quilcene, regarded possible restrictions for boaters, the need for
improved communication with boaters when tests are under way, and
possible impacts to the local economy.

"We're just at the beginning of the process, but we feel a lot of people
left [the meetings] satisfied," said Diane Jennings, civilian public
affairs officer at Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport in Kitsap

The meetings in Quilcene (67 people in attendance), Keyport (35 people),
Hoquiam (16) and Belfair (6) have made a few things obvious, according
to Jennings. A total of 46 written comments were gathered.

"We realize we need to promote the communication between boaters and our
staff on the test range," Jennings said last Wednesday night in
Quilcene. "A lot of concerns about boat travel can be cleared up

A number of well-known peace activists from Port Townsend attended the
Quilcene hearing, along with area residents, fishermen and business

"I think locals are a bit more at ease," Jefferson County Commissioner
Glen Huntingford said after viewing the Navy's presentation.

Public comments (accepted until Dec. 5) help the Navy proceed with the
official Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the proposed
changes in areas used for undersea equipment tests. The EIS includes a
full-bore look at things such as potential impacts on marine life, water
quality and local economics.

"We heard at Quilcene and Hoquiam that people wonder how this proposal
may affect the local economy," Jennings said. "We had not realized that
was such an important issue because we don't think of the range as
having an economic effect."

The timetable now is that a draft EIS be released for public review in
early 2005, followed by public hearings and a comment on final EIS in
late 2005, with any changes adopted in early 2006.

This article can be viewed at:

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