To: Honorable Senator Harry Reid
The lame duck Bush Administration is working overtime fast-tracking last minute favors to their buddies in big business and the military/industrial complex. There is even an airspace grab going on in Eastern Nevada.
The proposed expansion of military operations area into Nevada (White Elk Military Operations) is unacceptable. It will profoundly effect those of us who live here; physically, economically, environmentally, and spiritually.
With some of our airspace gone, we probably won't see nearly as many gliders in the future.
Our property values will decline due to jet noise and sonic booms.
Our natural spaces will be degraded.
This will be one more reason not to visit White Pine County.
This will be one more reason not to move to White Pine County.
Peak noise levels (from sonic booms) will likely harm our hearing.
Increased anxiety from loud noise has been shown to result in health problems, such as heart disease.
Property damage has occurred in the past near sonic booms.
Wildlife and livestock will be disturbed significantly.
Flares and chaff will be littered over wilderness and public lands. Flares pose increased fire risk. And over wilderness areas, there doesn't appear to be any fire suppression plans.
Chaff pose health risks if inhaled or ingested.
Degradation of my Native (Western Shoshone) homeland will harm us spiritually. This is far more significant than a sonic boom going off during a ritual. This is the desecration of the place that sustains us.
And of course, our tax money will be wasted on excessive, unnecessary training for cold war era threats. More supersonic flight training will not protect us from terrorists.
Apparently, there was a public hearing in Ely on this on September 2. But nobody I know heard about it. Was it publicized? I've heard about unpopular “public” hearings that the military has conducted without any practical announcements. Either way, we need more time to make our comments. It isn't right that residents here will find out about this after the public comment period is over.
Richard A. Spilsbury
I've been informed that the White Elk Operations Area Draft Environmental Impact Statement attempts to veil damaging health impacts from earth shattering sonic booms by providing ONLY noise level averages while ignoring peak sonic boom noise levels.
As you can see by the blank areas on the map, they will let wilderness areas burn! We saw the BLM watch a fire in wilderness area burn on for months last summer. Flares over wilderness areas are a recipe for multiple fire disasters.
Please write your Senators and Representatives about this.