Navy Seeks Permits To Expand Testing Off Northwest Coast

Sailors unloading sonobouys from a Sea Hawk helicopter. The Navy wants to expand its permit to deploy vessels and sonobouys off the Washington, Oregon and northern California coastline.U.S. Navy

Sailors unloading sonobouys from a Sea Hawk helicopter. The Navy wants to expand its permit to deploy vessels and sonobouys off the Washington, Oregon and northern California coastline.
U.S. Navy

 

By Ashley Ahearn, KUOW

 

SEATTLE — For the past several years the Navy has been in the process of renewing the permits it needs under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to continue detonating explosives and performing sonar tests and other military activities along a large swath of the Northwest coast, from Northern California to the Canadian border.

Starting Monday, the Navy is asking for public comment on asupplement to its initial environmental impact statement. The supplement includes consideration of an increase in escort vessels and other traffic and anti-submarine warfare training using sonobuoys. Sonobuoys are 3-foot long buoys that are dropped from aircraft into the ocean. The devices use active sonar to detect submarines beneath the surface. The sonar is harmful to whales and dolphins.

Marine mammals like porpoises, gray and fin whales and endangered orcas travel through the Navy’s training range. That’s raised alarm among marine mammal advocates who have voiced concerns about the Navy’s activities. EarthJustice and others conservation groups are opposed to the Navy’s desire to conduct testing and training within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

The Navy says it will keep a lookout for marine life during the exercises.

The public has until Feb. 2 to submit comments.

Upcoming public meetings:

Tuesday:

Grays Harbor College HUB
1620 Edward P. Smith Drive
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Wednesday:

Isaac Newton Magnet School Gym
825 NE 7th St
Newport, OR

Friday:

Eureka Public Marina, Wharfinger Building, Great Room
1 Marina Way
Eureka, CA 95501

Salal harvest permits for Olympic National Forest on sale on four dates starting next month

Source: Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC — Olympic National Forest has announced four dates on which permits for commercial salal collection will be sold.

The dates are Sept. 10, Nov. 5, Jan. 7 and March 18 at the Forks, Quinault, and Quilcene district offices.

Salal is an understory shrub commonly used in the floral industry.

It grows in dense thickets throughout Western Washington and Oregon.

A total of 100 permits will be available on each of the sale days, divided among different harvest areas.

Each permit will cost $150 and can be used for up to two months.

On each sale day, 50 permits will be offered from the Quilcene office for harvest areas located within Mason County and the east side of Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Twenty-five permits will be offered from the Forks office for the west side of Clallam County.

Twenty-five permits will be offered from the Lake Quinault office for harvest areas within Grays Harbor County and the west side of Jefferson County.

Harvest unit boundaries are defined by roads or recognizable land features. A map of the harvest areas will be distributed with the sale of each permit.

Permit holders will be limited to no more than 200 hands per day. One hand equals about 20 to 25 stems.

The Forest Service recommends that salal harvesters wear at least one piece of high-visibility clothing while in the woods.

A lottery system will be used if the demand for permits exceeds the supply.

A valid United States picture identification will be required at the time of purchase, and those buying the permits must be at least 18 years of age.

Cash or checks only will be accepted; credit and debit cards will not be accepted.

Only one permit may be purchased per person per sale day.

For more information about salal permit sales, phone Chris Dowling, special forest products program manager, at 360-956-2272.