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Undersea Warfare Training Range DEIS Moves Site to Florida, Near Right Whale Calving Area

News, Sonar No Comments »

 

A new Draft Overseas EIS released by the Navy shifts the preferred site for a long-planned sonar training range from North Carolina to Florida, near Jacksonville. The 575 square mile Undersea Warfare Training Range would be outfitted with a grid of instrumentation which is designed to provide detailed feedback during training missions using mid-frequency active sonar. The instrumentation, including passive listening devices, would also allow for more robust monitoring for marine mammals. Read the rest of this entry »

Third Yellowstone Snowmobile Plan Tossed by Federal Court

News, Vehicles, Wildlands No Comments »

The eternal cycle of Yellowstone Winter Use Plans looks to continue for at least one more round, as the third “final” National Park Service rule governing snowmobile access to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks has been tossed out by a Federal District Court after challenges form a consortium of environmental organizations.  DC-based judge Emmet Sullivan found that the NPS plan that would allow 540 snowmobiles to enter the parks each day was “arbitrary and capricious.” Sullivan expressed three key objections: the current average use of 263 snowmobiles is already exceeding the noise standards set by the Park Service (with the additional snowmobiles likely to further increase the area in which snowmobiles are audible for over half the day from 21 square miles to 63 square miles); NPS “utterly failed to explain why none of the seven alternatives would constitute impairment or unacceptable impacts” (despite NPS figures that suggest an increase in exhaust gasses and particulates of 18-100%); and NPS “failed to provide a rational explanation for the source of the 540 snowmobile limit.” The case turned on how to interpret the Organic Act, a 1916 law that established the Park Service

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