Students from a Navy SEAL class carry an inflatable boat toward the surf during a training exercise in San Diego in 2010. The Navy is proposing expanding such training in Western Washington, including to sites in Pierce County.


The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will hold another special meeting about the U.S. Navy’s request to use some of the state’s parks for special operations training.

At the virtual meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, the commission will decide whether “clarifying language” is needed for an amendment that was added during the Jan. 28 meeting before the proposal was passed, according to a press release.

The amendment delegates the authority to issue permits to the Navy to the director of state parks, requires parks staff to give periodic reports on training activities to the commission and limits the Navy’s activities to evening hours for the first nine months of each permit. However, after the proposal was passed and parks staff began its review of each individual park permit, park officials discovered the commissioner’s discussion of the amendment during the Jan. 28 meeting was inconsistent with the language in the amendment.

“Specifically, the written amendment appears to require that after a nine-month trial period, further Commission action would be required to lift the restriction on training during daylight hours,” state parks staff wrote in clarifying documents for the Feb. 11 meeting. “Discussion among commissioners, however, indicated that the intent of the amendment was to delegate authority to the Director to make an independent evaluation and decision to permit training activities during daylight hours at the end of the nine-month review period.”

State parks staff are requesting the commission clarify the intent of the amendment during tomorrow’s meeting.

Public comment is not allowed during the meeting, but people are invited to watch the proceedings online.

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Abbie Shull covers military and veterans affairs for The News Tribune. She is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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