You've no doubt heard that Navy will be flying jets at night this week over a proposed site for a practice training field in northeast North Carolina. The N&O has done a good job covering this long-running story and has an update today.
The Super Hornets will be crossing a tract in Washington and Beaufort counties to collect data on noise and waterfowl in the area. The results will be used in an environmental impact study to be completed in August.
:: snip ::
In December, some daytime flights in nearby Hyde County were canceled due to the risk of striking birds.
The Navy says it has a crucial need to build the outlying landing field so combat jets based elsewhere can practice aircraft carrier landings. The service has already purchased about 2,735 acres in the 3,000-acre core of the planned site, which encompasses 33,000 acres in Washington and Beaufort counties.
But construction at that preferred site, a few miles from Plymouth in Washington County, has been delayed by lawsuits filed by three conservation groups and by Washington and Beaufort counties. A federal judge ruled early this year that the Navy failed to adequately address the harm to waterfowl and the nearby Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. He also said collisions between large birds and aircraft "pose a serious concern for flight safety."
If you haven't driven out to the proposed OLF, you should. It's eastern North Carolina heartland, populated by good people and amazing birds . . . that shouldn't have their lives upended by the constant thunder of airborne hell.
Environmentalists are putting up a good fight, and we should support them. I've seen the disastrous impacts the US Navy can have on communities all around the world. And there are some prices that are just too high to pay to further George Bush's imperial ambitions.