The U.S. Army is seeking permission to fly helicopters over a wide and wild stretch of the North Cascades in Washington state, including above congressionally designated wilderness areas.
The proposed mountain training area encompasses hundreds of miles of trails, two scenic byways, many miles of rivers and streams and dozens, if not hundreds, of pristine mountain lakes. The region is a mecca for hikers, backpackers, boaters, mountain bikers, anglers, and other recreation enthusiasts. The prospect of Apache, Blackhawk and Chinook military helicopters using the region as a training area "day and night, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the exception of Federal holidays," is wholly incompatible with the values that make the North Cascades such a treasured landscape.
The proposal also designates eight areas in the region that the Army would use to practice landing maneuvers—one of those areas lies just within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, west of the town of Leavenworth. Under the 1964 Wilderness Act, most motorized equipment is not allowed in wilderness areas. Another landing site would be located atop a ridge less than a mile from the Pacific Crest Trail.
At FSEEE, we believe that military training is an inappropriate, and with limited exception, illegal use of our National Forest lands.
Please join us by submitting your on comments on the Army's proposal by Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Comments can be submitted via email to:
Hard copy comments cab be mailed to:
Department of the Army
Directorate of Public Works
ATTN Environmental Division (NEPA)
2012 Liggett Ave, Box 339500 MS 17
Joint Base Lewis-McChord WA 98433-9500