Although Olympic National Park is close to the Navy’s runways on Whidbey Island, it’s not the only place the Navy could train.
Currently the Navy conducts similar training in other airbases and military airspace in the West, including Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada, and Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. According to the Navy’s own analysis, using the Olympic region is a convenience and not essential for its training needs. Watch a clip from “Hear Our Olympics” to learn more.
Our wild Olympic Peninsula is like nowhere else. It has been recognized as a wilderness area, an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. It is also the most popular national park in the Northwest, with over 3.4 million visitors in 2017 alone. Even with this high level of visitation, the park provides an uncommon refuge from noise pollution as an oasis of natural quiet.
According to sound expert Gordon Hempton, who has spent decades researching noise pollution and making recordings of natural sounds throughout the United States, the Olympic Peninsula is “the most acoustically diverse” and “least noise-polluted” place in the Lower 48 states.
Thanks to the National Parks Conservation Association for this information.