On all fronts: Army and Navy forge ahead with training plans for Northwest forests despite loud opposition
Washington Wild works hard to protect the lands and waters of Washington State, which sometimes includes lending our voice to oppose military expansions. We understand the military needs places to train and we support our troops, but the wild places of our country are an integral part of the American dream, an envy of the world, and should not be unnecessarily degraded. We as a country have invested a lot in Wilderness protection and we will work to continue to protect that investment, partially by finding common ground.
This article covers three different controversial military proposals that are on the Olympic Peninsula or on the East side of the Cascades. Brewshed® Partner Pam Brullotte of Icicle Brewing Company speaks to the importance of protecting our wild places from her position as a local resident, a business owner, and a brewery. For the full article please click here.
Opponents of the new Army proposal include environmentalists who worry about the effects of increased helicopter flights in wilderness as well as several small businesses in communities that rely on tourism to fuel their economies.
Those business owners are especially concerned about a proposed landing zone near Icicle Creek, a designated wilderness area that lures hikers, bikers and mountaineers to the area.
“We’re a tourist community, and we have a lot of recreation,” said Pam Brulette, owner of Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth and one of several business owners who wrote to the Army, opposing the helicopter plan.
“One thing about the training grounds and that kind of training up and down the Icicles is it’s just such a pristine area. It’s important to protect it. I feel like there might be a better location in our state.”
Where does military training take place now?
The largest military training permit on public land in Washington belongs to the survival school at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane. It uses about 375,000 acres in Colville National Forest, where it teaches about 2,500 pilots every year how to live off the land if they crash in enemy territory.