As someone who has done field work just outside Olympic National Park, I can attest to the loudness of these jets as they fly over multiple times each day. The U.S. Navy can decide where to conduct its critical exercises, but the national parks cannot just pack up and move. The Navy exists to protect our blood and treasure, and the park should be one of our crown jewels, hosting recreationists, wildlife and stunning levels of biodiversity.

And yet, the Navy’s choices have made park visitors feel they are in a war zone and not enjoying one of the quietest places in the Lower 48. Whether you are a combat veteran trying to escape the noise, or a regular person getting away from the noisy urban landscape, we can all benefit from the Navy respecting our national parks and choosing to fly elsewhere. I don’t blame them for wanting to fly over one of the most scenic spots in the state but humbly ask that they take into consideration those down below who are seeking silence in one of the last quiet spaces in the country.

Esaac Mazengia, Shoreline, University of Washington, Class of 2021, Environmental Science and Resource Management & Political Science