Big Sur Wall of Conscience
Letters are posted here every day. Submit yours at: BombingRangeOpinion.

To the Navy and Congress: "We urge you not to proceed with the proposal to establish a jet fighter bombing training range in San Antonio Valley.

News! (Nov 15, 2001) We Won -
Navy Withdraws Bombing Proposal

This is a terrible and obviously stupid plan. It is tantamount to bombing the Grand Canyon or Yosemite! Don't do it.

PLEASE don't allow the Navy or anyone to despoil the beautiful, pristine San Antonio Valley.
Lyle H. Wilkinson
Santa Ynez, CA

I beg of you, do not violate this sacred ground.
Tiiu Lukk
Santa Monica, CA

I know this area. As a boy I hiked this lovely area. As a young soldier, I grew to love these hills and grasslands as I trained to become an infantryman.

If you have not had the good fortune to experience this country as I have, suffice to say that it is very much as California was at the time the Spanish missionaries explored and constructed missions the length of California.

Plaese don't trash this lovely area with a bombing range.
Mitchell Cushman, Ph.D.
San Diego, CA

The San Antonio Valley is part of our natural heritage and should be preserved to be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren. On account of the unique wildlife and the immediate national forest area, you must do all you can to prevent a naval bombing site from being built. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
Naomi Hamburger
Davis, CA


I have had 2 sons in the USMC, so I understand and support the need for practice. However, I do not agree that the San Antonio Valley is the place for this.

We need this space to balance with the wonderful might of nature.
Ann McDonald Rice
Los Gatos, CA


Pleae don't do it. Look what it did to Fort Ord. The beauty of the area, the spiritual meaning it has, and the threat to wildlife and flora makes it imaginable that anyone could even consider it. Find a place if you must that doesn't have these impacts.
J. Sayler
San Jose, CA


I have lived in the San Antonio valley for 5 years. We moved in when the fort was decommisioned. We felt the amount of noise generated by the Army would be cut considerably. This has been anything but true. During the summer months the base is a consistent source of noise. What ever happened to disturbing then peace. We have had 6 helicopters flying 50 ft above our house executing canyon manuvers. Now you want to turn our pristine valley into Bagdad. How many dead endangered species does it take to keep them protected?

I recall a farmer who was treated like a murderer for killing a kangaroo rat. As usual the government is above the law. Lockwood has grown at a tremendous rate since we moved in. If the Navy can't avoid a Japenese trawler in the vast ocean how can we expect them not to bomb our homes, our resources and our endangered species. Bomb Washington instead.
Wynn McGrenera
King City, Ca

The Big Sur wilderness area is a tremendous natural resource to the Nation. Its flora, fauna, and environment are precious treasures, ones that all of us need to work to protect. Endangered species such as condors and our national bird the Bald Eagle have established habitats in the region, and migrating animals make use of the area on their way up and down the Pacific Coast. It would be a tremendous shame and a needless waste of natural resources if you were to proceed with your plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range here. I am most strongly opposed to the proposal.

Barbara Nesbet, Member Monte Sereno City Council
Monte Sereno, CA


I have had the horrible, heart-stopping experience of having those jets fly over me in Big Sur. I am not as worried about the hermitage as I am about the adverse effects of that reckless behavoir on the wildlife in the area.
Barbara McKenna
Santa Cruz, CA

To intrude on this most unique wilderness with screaming jets is unthinkable.
Lydia Walker
Cambria Ca.


The proposed bombing test flights are an OUTRAGE to the fragile natural environment of the Big Sur coast. US citicens deserve a Wilderness area there, instead.
David Steindl-Rast, Ph.D.


Stop this crime against our environment. We need to preserve not destroy our pristine valleys. It makes me hurt to think what this will do to both the plant and animal life if this is allowed to go forward.
Kathy Olmstead
Palo Alto, CA  


It is an inappropriate choice of sites for such activity.

The MBNMS and the Ventana Wilderness are treasures that should be protected and respected, not defiled.
Carole Adams
Cambria, CA

 The plan proposes to bomb the heart of the California wilderness, an area of inestimable cultural and ecological value. To bomb this habitat would be an act of aggression and desecration against America itself: our land, our people, and our future.
Quintan Ana Wikswo
San Francisco CA

Surely there are less noise sensitive areas over which you could fly your planes. I fear that given this new administration, all of the good and thoughtful attention the military has paid to public opinion will vanish. I do hope that this will not be the case.

PLEASE do not destroy the priceless silence, beauty and biodiversity which currently exisits in the San Antonio Valley.
vie frost
Lake Oswego, OR

as a Benedictine monk of Christ in the Desert, NM, that silence and solitude and peayer are more needed for the wellbeing and security of our nation than the noise and distruction of a bombing range.
Br. Bernard Cranor, O.S.B.

Damage caused by bombing will last for many more generations than the goals of the generals ordering military readiness. Please consider the long view for this land that is home to forms of life that we all need for our survival.
Bill Prange
Sebastopol, Ca

This would be a disaster. we frequently visit this pristine have the intrusion of jet bombers is an outrage.
Jim and Ann Ameling
New Haven, Ct.

This would make about as much sense as paying $600.00 for toilet seats. The worst run business in the country seems to be the government. Who thought this one up?
greg jordan

This seems to be another example of military spending out of control. Have we lost all common sense?
Peter Coster
Sonoma, CA


What can I add to all the letters opposing this action?! The San Antonio Valley is nestled in an area of vast beauty. Add to that its geographical, botanical, biological, and historical significance and you have not only a crime against nature, but a crime against humanity in the making. PLEASE DO NOT LET THE SAN ANTONIO VALLEY BECOME A MILITARY CASUALITY! STOP the bombing plan NOW!
Carol Campbell
Scotts Valley CA

California Native Plant Society, Monterey Bay Chapter, has been studying the flora of Fort Hunter Liggett and working to protect it for over 25 years. We would like to ask that the following issues be examined thoroughly in the Environmental Assessment for the proposed practice bombing activity now being scoped. If, as seems likely, the impacts are found to be significant, then an Environmental Impact Statement should be prepared as provided under NEPA.

1. Presence of Rare, Threatened, or Endangered Plants: Because we have never been permitted to visit Stony Valley, site of the proposed project, we are unfamiliar with the flora of the site. We understand that the Floristic Survey carried out recently also did not include Stony Valley. Therefore we ask that a survey by qualified academics be carried out so as to cover the long blooming period at FHL. We are aware that a rare member of the mustard family, Streptanthus albidus ssp. peramoenus, was collected there by Alice Eastwood (later Curator of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences) in 1897. We also know that there are a number of vernal pools in Stony Valley that could well support rare species found elsewhere at FHL. The Floristic Survey of FHL contains a list (pp. 32-33) of the 57 plant species of concern that should be considered in the survey.

2. Impacts on Wildlife: In our effort to preserve intact ecosystems, we recognize the importance of protecting such species as the bald eagle, California condor, kit fox, arroyo toad, red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, and other sensitive species described in the document which we co-authored in 1997, 'Fort Hunter Liggett Natural resources Conservation Report.' For example, the diversity of breeding birds at FHL has been shown to be higher than any other site in southern Monterey Co.

3. Impacts on nearby Wilderness Areas: Our members have been visiting the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas for many years (Silver Peak was only designated a few years ago, but it has always been a de facto wilderness) for nature study, recreation, and solitude. The area is known to attract visitors from all over the country and beyond for its spectacular scenery, extraordinary biological values, and unspoiled natural condition. The impact on these activities is not easy to measure, but it is likely to be significant, resulting in economic losses to surrounding communities. Further, both government agencies and local and national conservation groups are in the process of spending substantial millions of dollars to acquire inholdings to preserve and protect the natural values of the Santa Lucia Mountains. These organizations should be contacted about potential impacts on their efforts.

4. Impacts on Native American and Archeological Sites: If as little is known about these subjects in Stony Valley as about the native flora, then surveys must be carried out to determine what might be at risk from errant practice bombs or from the noise alone. There are a number of studies of damage to indian ruins in the southwest from the shock waves from low-flying aircraft.

5. Health Impacts: There is a growing body of studies on the impacts on human and wildlife health from excessive noise. Decibel studies should be conducted by a qualified expert to determine the level at various sensitive points.

We appreciate the opportunity to comment at the scoping stage of this project, and we look forward to receiving a copy of the EA or EIS.
Mary Ann Matthews
Conservation Chair, Monterey County Chapter, California Native Plant Society


As a regular visitor to the Big Sur area, I am totally opposed to this jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. The area is one of quiet and solitude, a place to retreat for spiritual renewal. A bombing range is totally out of character with the area. Its unacceptable to myself and my family and friends.

The peace and quiet of the area must not be disturbed. (Not to mention theecological impact!)
Deborah Hayes
Santa Cruz, CA

It seems impossible to me that the new bombing range can be made compatible with existing federal law regarding protection of natural environment, civilian populations, etc. I hope a concerted public effort will bring to light the illegitimacy of this bombing-range project.
Rev. Thomas Matus
New Camaldoli
Big Sur CA

Our country has had two hundred short years in which to establish a history.

Part of that history is in it's beauty and natural environment. Isn't it enough what the government did to the desert outside of Las Vegas? Isn't it enough that people for many years to come will pay the price for the A-bomb testing? Leave our natural resources and wonders alone.
Ruth C. Tait
Rosamond, CA

This area is rare, relativley clean space, a sanctuary for both human and non-human animals, as well as countless species of plants. Surely there must be a less treasured space to bomb!
Jude Todd, PhD
Santa Cruz

This an outrageous example of insensitivity to native American heritage and to the truly glorious Big Sur region. No, no, no
Ann Lievers
Escondido, Ca.

We are responsible for the earth. we are responsible to leave it as purely perfect as is possible for the generations that follow us.
Sr Patricia Kelly ocd
Carmelite Monastery
Reno Nv

San Antonio Valley is a sacred place. The strong cultural history, natural beauty, and biodiversity of the area warrant immunity from the proposed invasion of the Navy.
Laurel Lucia Whitnah
Oakland, CA

I have great respect for the military,having worn the uniform myself; find another place to make war and leave people in peace.
Tom McMahon
SanJose,Ca. 95136


San Antonio Valley is a place of exquisite natural beauty and biodiversity, the navy plan for a bombing range would seriously imperil this. We urge you not to proceed in this destructive direction, and instead, support the protective stewardship this land deserves.
Diana Deering and Susan Burgers
Aptos, Ca

This is a beautiful place of quiet and untouched nature and should not be disturbed by war practice.
christine meyer
Fremont, CA
As a former military officer, military writer, aerospace editor, investigative reporter and now a just plain concerned citizen, I strongly oppose opening the Fort Hunter Liggett Western Training Center to naval air-to-surface ordnance launches from supersonic FA/18 Hornet strike fighters based at the Lemoore Naval Air Station near Fresno. I object for these important reasons.

First, the potential danger to the environment and fragile wildlife from air operations is real. Secondly, the Big Sur environs between Lucia on the Coast and the Jolon perimeter of the Army training center is one of the most beautiful wild areas in America.

It must continue to be fully protected for future generations. Many concerned citizens have volunteered innumerable hours to carefully nurture Bald Eagle and Condor chicks back into the wild from where they once thrived. They have succeeded dramatically at this difficult task despite the odds. We should not accept outside inroads to these efforts.

Finally, and most importantly, one more naval weapons range is simply not needed. There are weapon test ranges at Fallon, Nevada, and in California's El Centro. The Lemoore Naval Air Station uses both for tactical aviation training. There is also nearby China Lake operated by the Navy.

The China Lake Naval Air Weapons Center embraces 1,700 sq. miles, including two remote and secure test ranges with restricted air and land space. Here, pilots enjoy 353 flying days a year. Lemoore is 111 nautical miles from China Lake, 70 nautical miles from Fort Hunter Liggett and 196 nautical miles from Fallon. Is this net savings of 40 nautical miles and associated jet fuel (China Lake vis- à- vis Liggett) worth the environmental impact to surrounding Fort Hunter Liggett environs? In this age of environmental awareness and sensitivity, I don't think so.

Fort Hunter Liggett's 260 sq. mile footprint covers a significantly smaller 165,000 acres than China Lake's 1.1 million acres and unlike China Lake is subject to coastal fog. The China Lake weapon ranges were set aside for sorties, aerodynamic rocket sled tests and other air weapons testing. Both of these test ranges are vastly larger in total area than Fort Hunter Liggett. And further south is the restricted area around Edwards Air Force Base, the immense Fort Irwin National Training Center and the Marine Corps Training Center -- other sites providing possible alternatives to Fort Hunter Liggett.

Beyond environmental concerns, access to Mission San Antonio de Padua, located inside the Fort Hunter Liggett reservation near Jolon, should not be jeopardized. Mission San Antonio de Padua is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The cultural richness of California's 21 missions should be available at all times for all citizens, including school children who regularly study this rich piece of California heritage as part of their required curriculum.

What naval air combat operations would do to limit access to Mission San Antonio and the winding road to the coast today is not known. These concerns should be thoroughly probed during public hearings, along with potential species environmental impacts from sonic boom and air-launched ordnance mishaps.

The 17-mile drive from the Mission through Hunter Liggett to Big Sur is a trip not to be missed. Bald Eagles and Condors, increasingly rare, can be observed, if one is lucky, along this remarkable journey through the Ventana Wilderness. It is a moving ethereal experience that we should savor and not pollute with overhead noise.

The Navy's air arm absolutely needs to be combat ready and agile able in weapons deployment. As cited, there are less at-risk geographic alternatives than Fort Hunter Liggett that can be targeted to achieve the required "go for it" state of readiness rather than threatening the delicate balance of nature in a pristine California wilderness area.

The Navy should stand down and leave the Big Sur environs and its small endangered flock of feathered fliers at peace.
Walt Keeshen, Jr.

I am a teacher in California, and I love my crazy job. Some of my family is military and I recognize the need for your practices. However, I was deeply saddened by your recent choice to establish a jet fighter bombing range in Big Sur. I escape to this pristine, peaceful wilderness on a regular basis for tranquility and spiritual connectedness to our Earth. It is an area that is truly a gift from God, unspoiled by our current reality. This type of military practice has no place in Big Sur. I have been all over the world. It is still, and probably always will be my favorite because of its unique, solitary quality that I have not seen or felt anywhere else. Please reexamine your options and make the right choice. Big Sur is dear to to many folks. Thank you.
Molly Behrens
Vacaville, Ca


Do not do this!!!!

The Big Sur area is one of the few places one can go for peace. Many retreat facilities and religious institutions have ended up there for that very reason and offer hospitality to folks who also need that respite.

Fly the stuff over LA; no one will notice.
Michael Wyatt
Seattle, WA


This would be obscene.
Kay McMullen
Redwood City CA


It is just absurd. Nothing more needs to be said. The facts speak for themselves.
Carlos Venegas
Los Angeles, CA


I think it is outrageous to take this pristine wilderness that over the years has been so protected and allow it to be used for such an unconscious purpose. Do not let this happen. I oppose it.
Joseph Stern
Aptos, CA

Conducting thousands of bombing sorties over one of the most pristine and beautiful wilderness areas left in the United States would be an unthinkable misuse of public land. You may count on vigorous and resolute opposition.
Randy Fry

I strongly feel that this area should be preserved for its very special natural history, geological, biological and cultural attributes. To disturb this area and its unique inhabitants with screaming jets would be a crime.
Kari Olsen
Santa Cruz, CA

For this plan to be carried through would be truly catastrophic. The wild places are so few, please respect their peace.
Debbie Baskerville
Brooklyn, NY


I urge you not to proceed with the proposal to establish a jet fighter bombing training range in San Antonio Valley.
Aptos, CA


This is a proposal for biological and environmental disaster.
Suzanne L. Lukes
San Pedro, CA

This is an awful idea.
Beila Krow
Soquel, CA


This seems to be another example of military spending out of control. Have we lost all common sense?
Peter Coster
Sonoma, CA


Please do not build a jet bomber training site in the San Antonio Valley.

To do so would destroy the silence and solitude of one of the most beautiful and serene places in the world - the Camaldolese Hermitage at Big Sur. The monks and their retreat guests would suffer the loss of one of the last quiet places on the face of the planet if the jet training facility were to be built.
Rich Conway
Littleton, CO


I live almost at the top of the coastal mountains between Morro Bay and Atascadero just above Devils Gap, which is a flyway for these Navy planes.

They only fly through once or twice a week but when they come through all life stops until they pass. I can see the rivets on the wings and if I'm up on top I am looking down on the planes which by the way is what happens if you are up on Cone or Twin Peaks. THESE ARE THE SAME PLANES. I just happen to know the ex-commander of the NAS in Lemoore and he was the guy who designed the flight path these jets are presently using. Yes this is the same flight path that goes around the Cone/Twin Peaks area. When the come up the HWY 41 canyon they are on their way back to Lemoore. My point is these flights are going to affect a lot greater area and many more people than anyone at this point in time realizes.
John Smida


Big Sur is one of the most incredible treasures of our nation.San Antonio Valley is also an incredibly beautiful area filled with a profusion biodiversity. The best use for this area would be a National Park, not a bombing range. Please help stop this madness before we lose yet another irreplaceable part of our country.
Dee Roe
Santa Cruz, Ca

In the last few days, we have read in the news of the tragic deaths of nine Japanese people in a large boat when the U.S. Navy nuclear submarine USS Greeneville (with civilian VIPs at the helm and other key controls, under supervision ---- supposedly) made a special sudden emergence from the sea as part of training expercises while on maneuvers. Ret.Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan is quoted in the L.A TIMES as saying: "To be practicing that kind of maneuver...was obviously being done for publicity purposes. It obviously wasn't a training exercise...."

Cmdr. Greg Smith at the Pentagon is quoted as follows: "Those [submariners] are skippers who love what they do. There is no shortage of ego in showing off the capability of their boats and their crews." Tragically, we also recall irresponsibly low-flying fighter planes in Italy on training maneuvers in the last couple of years hitting civilian structures and killing and damaging many.

What do these incidents tell us? First, that we must strongly reaffirm that the military is meant to be the servant of U.S. [and even foreign] civilians in our republic; we are not a military-run society (although President Eisenhower warned us about the arrogance and potential dangers of "the [frightening] military/industrial complex" before he left office as one of our greatest challenges to contain in the future, given its present size and power. While Navy fighter-bomber planes obviously need to go out on training maneuvers, nevertheless there seems no need to be contemptuous of civilian rights and needs, as well as the special peace and beauty and ecology, in such precious and unique areas as Big Sur, California and Stony Valley of the San Antonio Valley (where a bombing range is being considered for construction, incredibly enough). I plead with you (as someone who, with his wife, has often enjoyed the special charms of this geographic treasure-land) to reconsider such a move. Military needs can be met elsewhere, surely, where they do not infringe upon civilian and ecological rights! I think that President (General of the Army) Eisenhower was quite correct in warning us about the potential for future military lack of consideration for SERVICE TO, not SERVICE AGAINST, civilians and their incomparable (but fragile) ecological and geographic wonders near the central coast of California. My own father was a proud disabled Navy veteran of WW II, and I do not harbor any ill will toward our military (especially our Navy) , but I am adamantly opposed (along with my wife and daughter) to the erection of such a bombing range in this place and to fighter-bomber maneuvers in this area; only harm and potential accidents can be the result.

Thank you for your consideration of these frank, but respectful, views.
Thomas J. Elliott, Ph.D.
Claremont, CA


 In many ways, Big Sur is synonymous with that powerful and almost mystical part of Northern California that makes this area so special. As a backpacker, I have seen, and felt, firsthand why the extraordinary beauty and atmosphere of this area is so world renowned. While it is certainly important that our armed forces remain in a state of preparedness, it is hard to imagine using a more treasured place than Big Sur area for this.

Unlike the current use of the military reservation there, a bombing range would make military activity utterly intrusive to the rest of the Ventana Wilderness--shattering its tranquility and upsetting its ecosystem.

I strongly urge that local input on this issue be taken seriously and that the plans for a bombing range in the Big Sur area be rejected.
Terrence Kelly
San Francisco, CA

this is a direspectful invasion of the silence of the camaldolese hermitage and the environment.
ed lucie
encino ca

More and more we need to consider the other life-forms and the land around us--if we think we are going to have healthy people on a sick earth in the future--we are very short-sighted. Please take the long view and reconsider this project.

Thank you!
Sister Susan Blomstad, OSF
Malibu, CA

urrently, this country is trying to repair counless mistakes concerning the environment. What our predecessors found to be imperative has now been concluded to be a costly error in judgement. In many cases, the damage that has been done cannot be undone. There are countless species of creatures brought to the brink of extinction and once gone they cannot be returned. There are some who believe that through advances in genetics extinction will not be a concern. It is the epitome of arrogance to assume that humans can take the place of God. We are destroying what is left of the natural beauty of this earth and the balance of what keeps us alive. To continue in this vein would be to head towards our own destruction. With economies so uncertain , is it really safe to assume that we will have the time or funding to repair the damage that will be done? And what natural element, once completely destroyed has ever been restored to its original glory?
Lisa Levine
Thousand Oaks, CA


I have lived in Big Sur for 35 years and believe it is a conflict of purpose for there to be ANY increase in ANY Armed Forces use in the area. The 'savings' you expect to gain by 'practicing' here would be far offset by the COST to the wilderness and the people and critters that reside here. I suggest you 'take a hike', LITERALLY, to and around the place you wish to use, having as guides some of us who know this place and call it home! YOU CAN NOT DO WHAT YOU PLAN TO DO WITHOUT IT ADVERSELY AFFECTING THIS AREA AND DISTURBING THE NATURALNESS, PEACE, AND BEAUTY HERE.

Tzila "Z" Duenzl
Monterey, CA

We need to save this valuable and sensitive area. Please cancel plans to use it for a bombing range
Richard NIchols
Sebastopol CA

The homeland of the Salinan Indians should not have to endure jet fighter bombing. This land needs to be preserved for future generations to enjoy for its particularly beautiful and historical landscape. I'm sure that once the Navy thinks about it, it will withdraw.
Lois Robin
Santa Cruz, CA

I am a concerned citizen who has often enjoyed the scenic beauty of the Monterey area coastline. I am very disturbed to hear of the proposal for a bombing range on the Fort Hunter-Liggett base. I know from a backpackers perspective, the destructive impact flyovers can do to one's experience of the wilderness. Hiking in areas of the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, I have witnessed dangerous antics of pilots doing low altitude flyovers of mountain passes, far outside the confines of their Nevada base - dangerous, not to the pilots, but to hikers climbing the passes. The military has consistantly denied these low-altitude flights, even when park rangers have called in with the jets id numbers.

Given this precedent, I find it difficult if not impossible to believe that any 'environmental impact assessment' performed by an agency contracted by the military, would yield results with a valid perspective, or take into account the effect that flyovers would have on the wilderness area of the Ventana. More likely it would attempt to ignore all but the most obvious, the impact area itself. Base Commander LTC Ackman's quote:

"Can we accommodate the target location, which is something on the order of 10 acres? The answer from our perspective would generally be yes. But the Navy needs to do an environmental assessment." is a very disturbing one. It's apparent from this statement that this senior ranking officer believes the environmental assessment process is simply a rubber stamp to approval. I do not want one of the most precious coastal areas of the world turned into a practice area for the Navy's top guns. I stand firmly against this proposal in any shape or form it may take.
Kiran Turan
Oakland, CA

Destruction of the biodiversity in this part of the central coast would have damaging consequesces for the flora and fauna of Californai in general, This would be irreparable damage and should be prevented at all costs.
Mary Litell
Oakland, CA


This is a travesty. This area needs to be preserved, not destroyed. The effects of this thoughtless project will be devastating to the lives of the people and the surroundings at Mission San Antonio as well as to the Hermitage at Lucia in the Big Sur area. Thousands of people from around the country have grown closer to God because of the beauty and the quite surroundings of the Hermitage. This is a sacred place to many people. To destroy it and pollute it with the noise and disturbance of a bombing ranged is a sacrilege.

What possible good can come from this?
Mary Ellen Quint, PhD.
Phoenix, AZ 85004


Cost savings in jet fuel, etc. are a terrible reason to destroy the sanctity of this area.
Lynda Witzel
Pacifica, CA

If bombing is in fact necessary to the US military, surely both the government and the citizens can together agree on a more appropriate location.
Fay Botham
Glendale, CA

Noise from the bombing and from the airplanes will destroy the serenity and wilderness feeling of the area to the west of the reservation.

There are Indian ceremonial grounds at the Wagons and Santa Lucia Peak used for comtemplation and respectfulness to the elders and hiking trails through the Ventana Wilderness used for reflection and retreat.

I think that by changing the aesthetic quality and disturbing the air quality of this place, you may be in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) which seeks to protect such things.

Just because there aren't many people there, doesn't make it the perfect place for a bombing range. Precisely because it lacks development is what makes it such a specially peaceful place. Precisely because it is remote is what makes it so appealing for aesthetic and religious pursuits. It has value because it is empty of vibrations, resonance and other auditory disturbances caused by bombs and airplanes.
Jane Strong
Monterey Park

Please don't bomb here.
Kriya Bahn
Santa Cruz, CA

Being a decendant of the Salinan Nation, and all that our families have gone threw and how far we have come, this proposal tears me up inside. Even though all kinds of laws have been passed to protect the Indians, here we the Salinan Nation stands again against the Military. No matter how you see it we have been hit from almost every direction. I was born in 1972 and I still till this day remember my Grandmother telling me not to tell anybody I was Indian. Only to survive, was I told this. It saddens me very deep, especially for my children.

At what point do you ever think about the ones that got burned first, and are continuing to get burned, eventhough they thought they would have us content with all their so called NAGPRA laws. If you are Federally recognized does this help?

If I am not understanding this correctly, maybe you could help me understand this absurd suggestion the Navy wants to do in our very sacred lands. We are not even allowed to go there because of the Military. Now you all want to blow it up. There is a lot of things that frusterate me with Hunter Liggett. I would really like to ask a lot of questions, one of these days, maybe I can find some strange kind of understanding to the Military wanting the Salinan Area so badly.
Lee Ann Irvine Hubbard
King City, CA.

This has always been a very peaceful and spiritual valley for myself and my family and friends and breaking that peace and calmness would just elimimate one more special place on the earth.
laura edwards
castroville, ca.

 This is unnecessary,and will impact the quiet area including Immaculate Heart Hermitage, where I visit on religious retreats.

The noise and disruption of increased sortie activity will disturb the life of the hermitage.

I live in Northern California and ask that the Navy reconsider their plans, that they not make the area into more of a military training ground. Sound pollution, and other disturbances including the air traffic itself will disrupt and harm the natural and cultural historical character of the area as well. Thank you.
Peter Menkin
Larkspur, CA

You should pay attention to and respect such historically important areas and their heritage.
Richard M. Smith
Banning, CA,
It is unthinkable that the Navy would even consider an area adjacent to the pristine Ventana Wilderness as a possible site for practice bombing. If they can't find a more appropriate location, move Lemoore to Nevada... We would all be better off!
George St. Clair
Saratoga, CA

This area is so beautiful and peaceful. It is a real natural area representing what California used to be like and I sure hope it stays that way. I am totally against the Jet fighter bombing range proposed.
Kerry Skyles
Corralitos, CA


I believe that this bombing range will be extremely detrimental to the 14 California Condors that frequent the area as well as the Bald Eagles which are protected by the ESA. A lot of time and money has been spent on protecting the Condors and the Eagles. What is to become of them? To build the jet fighter bombing range is to be in violation of the ESA. I don't see any mitigating circumstances that would allow the Navy to damage the environment for these species. Almost as important is the noise and damage to the rustic beauty of the area which will be ruined for all time for human enjoyment if this bombing range is built. I visited this area in September 2000 and was very impressed with the biodiversity of flora and fauna present as well as the natural beauty of the scenery. This area needs to stay as it is with no new jet fighter target bombing range.
Wendy Malmid
Matawan, NJ


Fly jets directly over a Benedictine hermitage, not to mention other centers for spiritual retreat in Big Sur area? Disturb the peace of a region where both humans and wildlife need it the most? You can't possibly be serious! What a terrible idea... how can I help stop it?
Danni Bayles-Yeager
Los Angeles

Jesus christ, you might as well go bomb Yosemite! How many more bombing ranges do we need anyway? At least pick some place that's already trashed!
Ariel Paulson
Desert CA

 I strongly urge you not to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. This is a prestine wilderness area that needs to be kept in tack and not disturbed.

Please do not used this wilderness area as a bombing range. It would certainly destroy the habitat and endanger the animal, birds, and other creatures living in the area. This would create havoc among all living creatures especially the Christian monks who live close to the proposed site. The low-flying aircraft and noise from bombing would interfer with their contemplativelifestyle of prayer.
Tom Olson
Merced, CA

The area around and including Fort Hunter Ligett has too many historical, natural and sacred sites to be "blown away" as a bombing site.
Peter Gibson

The propsed site is too near the Big Sur wilderness; it especially affects the Camaldolese Benedictine hermitage there.

The monks need the silence that the area provides.
Homer S. White
Sadieville, KY 40370


Big Sur has always been a natural splendor. The new adventure seeking tourist, as well as all travellers, would describe that whole area as some kind of heaven.

It's sad and almost surreal that something so harmless yet so prestine and so alive would be a target.
Jolon Grymaloski
Vancouver, BC


San Antonio Valley and Big Sur are certainly one of California's (and America's) most beautiful, unique, and treasured natural wonders. To create a military bombing site would destroy much of the beauty and disrupt the serenity of the surrounding areas.
Jeffrey Rice
Atlanta, GA


This National forest area must be preserved protected and cherished. The impact of the Naval activity will surely have devastating effects on the wildlife, plant life and our ability to enjoy this precious and delicate national treasure.
Victor Adintr
Campbell CA


Aside from the appalling ecological and psychological impact of sonic booms echoing over the Big Sur coast, the San Antonio valley has a historical association with John Steinbeck's works. Research on the location of my father-in-law's books shows that his short novel, To a God Unknown, was set in the valley west of the mission. I urge every one who loves Steinbeck Country to petition against this environmental horror.
Nancy Steinbeck
The Navy should reconsider it's plan to create a bombing training site in the San Antonio Valley near the Big Sur / Ventana Wilderness areas.

There are far too few natural, historical and culturally significant areas left in California, or even the U.S. to just arbitrarily transform them into wastelands when they are taken over by the military. Just being an environmentalist does not mean we are blind to the importance of having a well-trained, quick-responding, fully-developed military to handle any situations that threaten our great nation. But sometimes those threats come from within our nation, as the case with the San Antonio Valley, and the cry needs to go out to the public and careful consideration needs to be taken to rethink the military's plans and come up with a suitable alternative. If it's a matter of $3M/year in savings, I'm sure the American, or at least Californian tax payer wouldn't mind chipping in a few cents every year to spare our glorious and pristine recreational and wilderness areas. We all must remember how important a good balance is in nature and to keep that balance we need to preserve as much of the unadulterated areas that are still remaining in California, as well as the United States. Please do anything and everything you can, Mr. Farr and Navy Officials to see that this plan is revised and help us save our beautiful State.
Deborah Moscoso


This is a beautiful and peaceful place. Millions of Californians visit this area every year to enjoy the peace and pristine beauty of Big Sur and the San Antonio Valley. Navy fighter and bombing training would shatter the peacefulness of this place. In addition, no environmental impact studies have been done. I think that if these are necessary before we build roads and homes, they certainly ought to be done before such destructive training actions are taken.

Further, this is a high fire area. If sparks can set off thousands of acres, what are "practice bombs" going to do???

Must military priorities come before the priorities of the citizens of this state? Please don't turn this area into a practice bombing zone, or make it into a noisy area for navy fighters.
Marie Schafle
Moss Beach, Ca


I urge you: not to proceed with the proposal to establish a jet fighter bombing training range in San Antonio Valley.

Michael Braude
Menlo Park, CA

This valley is the site of the only Mission where an inkling can be had of what early California life was really like,in its peaceful grandeur, because of the undeveloped nature of the surrounding lands. A bombing range would completely destroy this quality. An irreplaceable piece of California history and beauty would be lost. Please reconsider this plan.
Kay Spencer
Soquel CA


The entire notion of a bombing range in Big Sur is an abomination. Big Sur is a treasure, a landmark, a hideaway, a sanctuary, a home to more creatures than we know of. How much more of this genocidal tendencies portrayed by mankind (I emphasize "man"kind) can this country get away with. Is anyone accountable for animal extinction and destruction of the environment? Please, Rep. Farr, be our voice, be our beacon to guide us towards the peace and comfort of a pristine Big Sur.
Michael P Kelley
Soquel, CA


Why pick this pristine and beautiful site to destroy with bombs? It is not a good land use for this beautiful area, which is much better served as a wilderness area, for hiking and nature studies.

Lynne also wrote to Rep. Farr:

Do whatever is necessary to stop this from becoming a reality in such a beautiful part of our state of California. To me, there is a much more lucrative and aesthetic use of this land as wilderness parkland. Increasingly in our country and in our state, overcrowding and overdevelopment is a major problem and citizens want and need wilderness areas to restore the spirit and feel a bonding with the natural environment. This area is rich in its diversity and a natural wonder. To think of using it for a bombing range is just unthinkable.
Lynda Newton
Marina del Rey, CA


I have lived near here for most of my adult life, and have viewed these valleys from the top of the Coast Range to the west and from within at Jolon, San Antonio Mission and Nacimiento Ferguson Road. It would truly be a cultural and environmental atrocity to do further damage to an area currently recovering from artillery practice and military trainings. The artillery practice could be seen and heard from Highway 1 on the coast and from Paso Robles and even Cambria at times. This is NO PLACE for a bombing range. It is too close to populated areas, sports and hunting activity and tourists. It is too small surrounded by these diverse uses to be practical. I doubt Californians would tolerate a bombing range within this type of landscape and considering existing nearby uses. I recommend the Navy seek other more remote sites. I understand the Salinan Native Americans are interested in this site. That sounds good to me and the Navy plan does not.
Ms Tauria Linala
San Luis Obispo, CA


The San Antonio Valley and Big Sur are certainly one of California's (and America's) most beautiful, unique, and treasured natural wonders. To create a military bombing site would destroy much of the beauty and disrupt the serenity of the surrounding areas.
Jeffrey Rice
Atlanta, GA 30306


This is an ill advised use for this area.
Paul Olsen
Scotts Valley, CA


My ancestors came to the Monterey area in the 1790s, the Santa Cruz family, and I know this area very well, having hiked all over the Hunter-Liggett facility and in the adjacent mountains. My father attended National Guard camp at Hunter-Liggett and I have visited the Mission many times. Please don't subject this beautiful area to this inappropriate use. The archaeological treasures of the Wagon Wheel Cave and other sites in the region demand that this bombing range proposal not go forward.
The Honorable Art Goodtimes
San Miguel County Board of Commissioners
Telluride CO


I do not live in California, however I have visited and am familiar with the Big Sur area. I believe the area is as much a precious region of this country as any. It would be a shame if I were not able to bring my children to the sight to experience its beauty. While I understand military needs, I urge the Navy to do everything in its power to consider an alternate sight.
Stuart Tendler
Hewitt, TX

It's past time for you, Rep. Farr, to recognize that the Salinan Nation should take over the stewardship and ownership of FHL by being granted Federal recognition as a tribe and regranted ownership of FHL. We know how to care for and protect our land far better than does anyone else, including the National Park Service. It's time for the US to return FHL to the Salinans!

Respectfully yours,
Debra Krol
Phoenix, AZ


It is counter productive for the U.S. Navy to practice-bomb such a fragile beautiful area. The purpose of government entities are to protect us, not work against us.
Pam Pedersen
Escondido, CA

Any citizen of this country, including the people who are proposing this site, really love this country. When there are miles and miles of unusable land in Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada that is neither beautiful, nor desirable, why select a pristine setting like San Antonio Valley? Whose interest are the military decision makers serving? Doesn't anyone care about the beautiful wilderness areas that have managed to survive?
Patricia Dowd
Oxnard, CA

N. Challis Macpherson
Venice, California

There are less sensitive areas,although the act of bombing any place is bound to have a negative impact. Perhaps computer simulated runs would be better for all concerned.
Scott Woodruff
Pescadero, Ca.

This is one of the few areas of coastline in California left undeveloped, and it is a precious recreation area to Northern and Southern Californians alike, as well as visitors from all over the world traveling to and through the Monterey area.

Thank for providing a place where those of us opposed to the proposed U.S. Navy bombing site can communicate with you. I hope you are one us who treasure beautiful places and untouched areas, as it will make writing you so much easier.

This breathtakingly beautiful place and surrounding areas, like Big Sur and the Northern California coast line, is simply our favorite place to be in the world. My husband and I often take road trips along the back roads there and stay as long as we can at a Big Sur campsite. The peace and serenity of the mountains and trees is restorative. My husband is a Viet Nam vet, and continues to suffer from PTSD and memories of the Ia Drang Valley conflict in 1965, which for him have been tortuous.

To go to these wilderness areas reaches a deep place inside him and he comes away with a more peaceful and healthy and hopeful view of the future. I think it would be unbearably sad to think of naval bombing missions over this beloved place.
Lynda Newton


It would be a sad outrage if, in the name of protecting America, the Navy were to destroy one of its more precious natural and spiritual preserves. The sonic pollution alone would have this effect, not to mention other forms of destruction. I would like to see the Navy live up to the nobler aspects of its heritage by showing some farsightedness and scientific discernment in this matter.
Katherine L. Ziegler
Santa Cruz, CA


To establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley would be to drastically disturb the peacefulness & rare beauty of the entire area of this national forest and the wilderness areas.
Lynn Mary Ruth Olson
San Luis Obispo, Ca
The first time I passed through this valley, I found it almost by accident and I was absolutely amazed at how such a pristine, untouched, and gloriously beautiful place could rest so incredibly close to my home in the Bay Area. I knew immediately as I descended into San Antonio Valley on that spring afternoon that I had discovered a rare jewel of a valley, the likes of which I have not come across anywhere else in my explorations of California. I want to go back there and learn more about this place, to show my friends and perhaps someday my children what a virtually untouched and unspoiled coastal valley is like, and what much of California must have looked like before the population explosion. I feel that the conversion of this space for military operations would destroy a unique opportinuty for present and future Californians to discover how unique and stunning the natural beauty of their state really is.

Surely there must be other lands in this state that could serve equally well for military use without destroying one of the last undeveloped pockets of land in California that is easily accessible from a major population center. Thank you for taking the time to read the opinions and thoughts of myself and other concerned California residents regarding this matter.
Dan Ackerman
Concord, CA



This would be an utterly inappropriate insult to one of the most beautiful and important places in the U.S. and an insult to all Americans who treasure our irreplaceable natural heritage and want to preserve it for future generations.
Dr. Mha Atma S. Khalsa
Los Angeles
San Antonio Valley is a pristine area that should be protected. Being under military control has actually preserved a habitat that in most other areas of California has been destroyed through development. It also has great historical value. This area should absolutely not be destroyed; rather, it should be preserved for future generations.
Diana Roberts
Point Richmond, CA
This is something that should be considered for the state of Alaska. Not the US mainland.
Mary Higgins Bouz
Sundre, Alberta, Canada

I grew up in Carmel and spent much of my youth hiking and camping near the area that is now being proposed as a Navy bombing range.

One of the things I remember most about those outings was the total peace and quite of the place and how far away I felt from all the noise of civilization.

How will that be possible with 3000 F-16s and F-18s screaming over head each year to drop 10 to 25 pound chunks of steel on a target that they hopfully will not miss. That missing part is also of great concern for me since a naval officer described it recently as "kindergarten training".
Walter Charles Gorey
Venice, Ca.

I'll let this poem express
the way I feel.

April is the greatest month;
Full of vibrant energy,
Full of wails and groans
Of Nature giving birth
To lushness.

 ("And the Spirit of God
Was stirring above
The Waters.")

I feel it in my sentient being;
The earth is trembling with emotion,
Sweating, crying, pleading to her young
To thrust upwards.

 Why do you generate, oh Earth?
Why do you generate your young;
Nourishing them within you
And forcing them
To thrust upwards?

Is it that -- things in motion
Tend to stay in motion,
Or on account of men
Who trample you?

Men claim to be your midwives,
Little do they care for you;
Instead of harvesting they rape you,
Blasting out your bowels
With bombs.

They smear your face with blood,
They dilute your streams with tears,
They gouge out your eyeballs
With little care.

Why then do your generate, oh Earth?
Why do you generate for men?
Could it be -- could it be today
What happened long ago,
That the Spirit of God
Is stirring...?
Jim MacMath
Trumbull, CT


The sound of war machines adjacent to the beauty of the land and the solace many of us gain from the nearby Camaldolese Hermitage seems criminal. I consider it theft and vandalism of great magnitude.
Ruthie Moccia
Columbia, MO

This is a horrible abuse of assumed power. Ethically humans must act rightly towards other humans, creatures and the environment. This proposed action would in effect negate the rights of others to exist, live, and flourish.

Enough of this non-sense! There are military ranges enough. I live by one!!!

And think of the waste of money that could be used to benefit the environment and those in it!
Christopher Jensen
Lusby, MD

The integrity of this natural area, as well as the long-standing contemplative life of the Camaldolese Monks make a bombing range a serious error in judgement. We have so few places left with such biodiversity that it is our obligation to preserve them.

Mary E. Halpin
Laramie, Wyoming


Big Sur, Ventana and the San Antonio Valley are a rare and wonderfull gift from nature on our California coast. In a world where humankind is totally unconscious of it's massive desimation of the earth and it's delicate balance, this intent by the US military is obscene cannot be tolerated. It must stop! Leave the Big Sur alone!
Richard Joseph Wheeler
Berkeley, California

I urge you: not to proceed with the proposal to establish a jet fighter bombing training range in San Antonio Valley.
Patty Petersen
Salinas, Ca
I would be very disappointed in the US Navy's building a range that would affect the peace and solitude that people escape to the region to experience.

I for one will travel 12 hours door to door to visit the Hermitage that is located just south of Big Sur.

I know already the sounds of the jets overhead and feel that they are a real disturbance just as they exist today. I can imagine the conseuences once the range is built.

Besides my peace being disturbed, though, I feel that the negative effects of the project to the people and wildlife who live here or visit the area for the same reasons I do is significant enough to look at an alterative
Thomas Mulligan
Lincolwood, IL

The Navy needs to open themselves to a shift in perspective that would facililtate a "new pair of glasses" as it relates to understanding the implications of test bombing in the close proximity to such awonder as Big Bur/Ventana Wilderness. The Hermitage retreat center is of particular interst to me as a person who cherishes Silence and its healing powers. I acnnot imagine hearing F18s blast by three time a day...during a mediation retreat... I understand the need for military training and support such but NOT in this area. I can only hope the Navy reconsiders and finds a mor eappropriate site for its training...
Sean Casey Leclaire
Harvard, Ma
Any widerness area in this country or any area of any country should be protected from any bombing by any country.

keith mather
daly city CA.

I would hate to see the environment polluted by the jet fighter bombing range. There are plants that are native to this area that could be negatively impacted by the pollution from jet fuel.

The quietness of the area also will be jepordized by the sounds of the jet fighters which would imact the Mission San Antonio, Immaculate Heart Hermitage, and Tassajara Monastery.
Janet Strong
Yakima, WA


The Big Sur area has been a place of retreat and renewal for my family since 1969. There are few places left that have maintained their prestine wilderness qualities. I urge you to reconsider your plans for the development of a bombing range in this area. Please respect the people who travel from all over the world to come to this beautiful area and listen to the many who want to maintain this natural area with all its beauty just the way it is. Thankyou.
Betty Webb Pecharich
San Pedro, California,


This is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas in the US. Surely, in a time of peace, it is unnecessary to upset a natural environment in this way?

Big Sur is also the home of a Camoldolese Monastery; does the peace of this place need to be sacrificed this way?

Surely the Navy's training needs can be accomodated without the damage to the environment -- not just plant and animal life, but the peace and silence which humans treasure as well.
Jeanne Edna Thelwell
Brooklyn, NY

Dear Mr. Secretary, Such a bombing range would damage not only the environment but the silence and beauty of at least 2 Catholic retreats, Mission San Antonio de Padua & New Camaldoli Hermitage.

Please find a less delicate site for your training. Thank you.
Kathleen Ann Clarke
Moraga, CA



To destroy pristine wilderness is to destroy something sacred. There are few places of such natural beauty and silence available to us and to the creatures of the wild as the San Anonio Valley and Big Sur coast. Please do not take them from us in order to train for war!

New Camadoli Monastery nearby is a place of refuge and spiritual renewal for so many. It is also the home of monks who have chosen to spend their lives there. Too many supersonic jets already interrupt the prayerful quiet without your adding to the disturbance.

I beg of you, please do not go ahead with your plans for the San Antonio Valley!
Carole Marie Kelly
Carmel, CA


Above and beyond all the many, many solid reasons given by so many people for the Navy to scrap this idiotic idea, it should be obvious to any reasonable and conscientious citizen that there are, without question, plenty of other sites to choose from -in remote, desolate areas! How can anyone seriously consider such an abominable and foolish idea - to set up a bombing range in such a beautiful area deserving of stringent protection?! It is not only nature, ecology, archaeology, and all the other obvious harms, but consider also the religious communities there (such as the Camaldoles Benedictine monks and their guests at New Camaldoli, Immaculate Heart Hermitage) whose peace and tranquility would be horribly damaged, and while some might think that communities of human beings devoted "only" to prayer are not worthy of consideration to halt a major military enterprise like this, prayer is the one thing that makes life worthwhile for ALL of us, whether in war or peace,! under any and all circumstances. Prayer seems like almost nothing to the gross mind and heart "buried in flesh" but prayer is the most valuable reality in human existence! Consider the peace of those communities and monasteries in the Big Sur - Ventana San Antonio Valley region. Move the whole range plan to an area that will not be sonegatively affected. Please! In the name of all that is beautiful, good and right and true!
Will McKinley
Santa Clarita, CA


To keep our Navy strong we must provide for Naval Air to be capable. That takes practice. It would be nice to attain the basic practice at as a reasonable price as practical, with due consideration to the area affected.

The times I have spent at Hunter Liggett and Mission San Antonio have always been enjoyable in many ways. The helicopters, experimental Army activities, and the public campground behind the mission did not detract. Nor do I think that a few jet flights per day will detract.

In short, I think the target range should be established for the Navy.
James Payne
Los Altos,

please rethink your decision to use this sacred area as a practice area for your war
jo-ann lucero
felton ca


Consider our grandchildren. Will they ever see this beauty? I know you think that this is the way to protect us all but consider what it is you want to protect. If we destroy the beauty God gave us what have we left to protect? I will die. You will die. Must beauty also die or can we leave it for those who follow. Please reconsider.
Deborah A. Harriss
Vacaville, CA


This would be destructive to the natural setting. It would also compromise the contemplative atmosphere of the New Camaldoli Hermitage where I am an oblate and often go to appreciate the solitude and silence of God's Creation. Navy planes would be a terrible distraction in that beautiful space.
Rev. Patrick W. Collins, Ph.D.
Douglas MI


We strongly oppose the bombing range proposal for all of the obvious problems it will cause to the natural environment.

In addition the noise pollution incurred by the jets will greatly disturb the enjoyment by humans of a very large section of the beautiful California coast. There is a Camaldolese Benedictine Hermitage just located between Ft. Hunter Liggett and the ocean. The noise from the jets will destroy the contemplative atmosphere enjoyed now by the monks of this monastery and by their guests, who number in the hundreds each year.
Mr. & Mrs. James E. Burns
Manhattan Beach


It would be disastrous to have a jet fighter bomber range in that area. As frequent visitors to Big Sur we strongly object to this plan, since it would destroy the tranqyility and peace so much needed and enjoyed by the residents and visitors to that area. It is one of the few remaining unspoiled parts of nature so badly needed by plants, animals and humans alike.
Alexander and Ruth Maria Lipski
Long Beach,

I request that you cease plans to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley.

Instead, begin plans to protect and preserve this unique, precious and irreplaceable natural wonder of California.

I have several concerns re the damage that the bombing range will unleash:

Noise of low flying navy jets are incompatible with the Ventana Wilderness, where folks go for peace and QUIET.

This area is essential condor habitat.

There is a wonderful Camoldese hermitage and retreat center in neighboring Big Sur whose serentiy would be shattered by the noise of the jets.

Spiritual retreats need quiet places and the hermitage has been established for well over 20 years.

Habitat would be destroyed that would take years to rectify.

Witness the years taken to slowly reclaim parts of San Clemente Island.

An avid outdoor hiker, I onced hiked a wilderness area in Washington State, that was a flyway for the jets stationed at Whidbey Island. The noise from those jets was excruciating and scary. It seemed like I was in a VietNam War movie. Id hate to see a similar natural setting ruined.

Please remember and value that wilderness is not replaceable in our lifetimes. Wilderness must be be preserved.

Kerry Halligan
ALameda CA

Big Sur, Ventana and the San Antonio Valley are a rare and wonderful gift from nature on our California coast. In a world where humankind is totally unconscious of it's massive desimation of the earth and it's delicate balance, this intent by the US military is obscene cannot be tolerated. It must stop! Leave the Big Sur alone!
Richard Joseph Wheeler
Berkeley, California
Plans for a bombing range in that part of the coast is unthinkable. Aside from the disruption of the eco-system,there are monastic instutions which would greatly suffer. Don't do it
Jerome Henry
Farmington, Missouri


It would be most gracious of the Navy, an enormous an sophisticated organization with numerous sites here and abroad to facilitate fighter pilot training, not to select a site which, because of its historical, cultural, natural, and spiritual uniqueness, makes it a matter of anguished concern to a substantial number of tax-paying, patriotic citizens that it not be chosen for a jet fighter bombing range.

There is simply no way the Navy's needs in this situation can do anything but damage and violence to those who would otherwise have little cause to oppose its legitimate activities. This area is utterly unique in the Western United States, a site of pilgrimage for all kinds of people who value natural and spiritual beauty. I have taken my family there on numerous ocassions, expressly for the purpose of experiencing what can be found in few other places in the region.

Surely, the selection must be an oversite which a little education and inspection would rectify without much controversy. If it is the purpose of the Navy to keep the peace, it might begin by keeping it at home. I urge those who may have made this decision without regard for its unfortunate collateral consequences to reconsider any and all practical alternatives, and will give whatever assitance I can to such a process. This is not a wise decision and it must be opposed at all costs.
Francis X. McCarthy
El Dorado Hills, Ca.


Let's support life and the consistent celebration of joy nature offers us. There are certainly other ways and places to practice "bombing".
Kyle King
Santa Cruz, CA

To distroy such a beautiful valley would be horrific. To disturb the hermitage near by is unthinkable. There is open uninhabited land in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma....look there and NOT the San Antonio Valley.
Ronna Riley
Westlake Village, CA


The military needs to shrink, not expand. The US needs to be peaceful, not warlike. The US' enemies are there because of our own arrogance. The US needs to learn how to be humble. Reconciliation is better than miliatry spending, and costs less. Spending more on war only causes more conflicts, and does not prevent any.
Kenji Liu
Oakland, CA


There are few places left like the San Antonio Valley. To disturb that kind of peace, and to affect that environment in any way, when there is no demonstrable need, would be a travesty.
Nathanael C. Bacon
San Francisco, CA

Please preserve the pristine wilderness of the San Antonio Valley. It is the kind of gift we should offer our children and future generations. Let us not contaminate this area with the noise and pollution that would result from such a poor choice on behalf of the US Navy. Please take our opinions seriously!
Mayra Bacon
San Francisco, CA

I register my complete opposition to the planned desecration and permanent damage by the propsed Naval Bombing Range in the San Antonio Valley to the priceless treasures of the Ventana Wilderness, Big Sur Coast and New Camaldoli Hermitage.

I also strongly support the immediate cessation of all overflights being conducted over the said national/world treasures especially New Camaldoli Hermitage, a place for retreat for people of all faiths and all walks of life.

Surely the good people of the US military also are moved by a true appreciation and deep respect for America itself. If that is not present, what will be left in our society that is worth defending for its own intrinsic good - that is the land and sky and sea?

There are so few places that remain today where all Americans can enjoy and benefit from blessed natural silence! In conclusion, let us protect and reverence the precious Central Big Sur Coast and environs now and forever for our grandchildren.
Lawrence. G. Muller
Winchester, Virginia


The whole notion of using Big Sur or any part of it as a bomb site is obscene and cannot be tolerated.
Richard J. Wheeler
Berkeley, Calif


The San Antonio Valley is breathtakingly beautiful and an important natural resource. Please do not establish--not even go on thinking about establishing--a jet fighter bombing range there.
Jennifer Harford
Philadelphia, PA


Please do not proceed with the plan. You may not believe, but the peace and prosperity of your country, and also of the whole world, are more on the shoulder of Camaldoli hermits than that of the U.S. navy.
Madeleine Tanaka
Oxford, United Kingdom


Though there is clearly a need for a practice range to enable the training of pilots, this is not the place. The area in question is one of the last remaining large parcels of this unique type of ecosystem. The Central Coast of CA is experiencing tremendous growth, and as the growth continues, the presence of the bombing range will be increasingly at conflict with the needs of the public at large.

This type of installation should be located in a area that is sparsely populated, and not so environmentally sensitive.

Michael Curry
Santa Maria, CA




Please understand this is not just a case of "not in my backyard." The area in question is one which, for anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to have visited, a source of peace just to think about, and to look forward to going again. There really is no other place like it, and to propose what you have proposed to do in this unique natural haven is almost like a joke, almost like you just wanted to see if anyone was paying attention. We are! Please take heed. Raise our taxes to make up for the 3 million a year you would have saved, but don't destroy this area!
Marilyn Russell
Los Angeles


This would be detrimental to the local environment. My family owned some of this land that was consumed by Hunter Ligget. This land has a rich history in California and should be kept as pristine as possible for future generations.

Marilyn Gooding
West Covina, CA


No training sorties should be flown in any area of big sur or the ventana wilderness. find another place

david mucha
south pasadena ca


I ask you to take a moment and think of all the natural environments that have survived relatively unharmed up to this point. Now think of how large or small these areas truly are. This area of the central coast of California has been to this point a vast expanse of land allowed to preserve its timeless truth. This has been due to a combination of parklands, the vast private holdings of individuals such as William Randolph Hearst, and the respect of local inhabitants who know how to live in an area without harming it.

By allowing bombing practice on this pristine land the Navy will rape this area which is so unique not just in California, but in the world. I believe that we should have a strong national defense, and I do realize that that requires certain sacrifices. I also believe that the Big Sur area is among the worst choices for this range.

I urge the Navy to choose another location, such as isolated desert or lands that have already been destroyed. Leave this piece of heaven to everyone who knows it or will discover it.

Erica Selin
Boston, MA


The Central Coast is a National Treasure including Hunter-Liggett Reserve. I have visited the Mission, which is one of the most beautiful in the chain. It is also important because it gives one of the best insights into the life of the Mission Indians anywhere. I intend to visit the Hearst Lodge designed by Julia Morgan when that becomes possible. The Native American sites are fragile and important to all of us probably in many ways we are not even of aware of yet. They are important to the descendants of these people who have so little of their past left and the sites are also archeologically important. The ecology of the area is beautiful, fragile and should be preserved as all of California is gobbled up by over-development. It is a rare reminder of what Old California was like.

There most certainly will be percussion damage by the bombing practice, stray dummy bomb damage and overflight damage by aircraft in the area including noise pollution in a previously quiet area. Don't let this go forward and then discover the damage later when it cannot be reversed. There are many other areas not so sensitive or already ruined by these types of practices where this can go on. Of course, the Navy may save a few bucks. That is not important considering the damge will be permanent and is avoidable. There is also a surplus of upwards of 5 Trillion dollars of federal money overcharged to the people of this country. The Navy can make use of some of that money to do bombing practice a couple hundred miles away. We own a house on the Central Coast and plan on moving there soon. We are looking forward to living in and being part of a community in one of the best regions in the world. We should all try to leave as much of it as unspoiled as possible.

I believe the Hunter-Liggett Reserve is so important that it should be turned over to a Park Sevice system or a Land Conservancy group as soon a possible.

Karen Brandt
Yorba Linda, Ca.


I am not opposed to military training grounds. But I am opposed to defiling a spiritual and natural resource as is now being proposed near Big Sur. It is difficult to understand -- the Navy deserves a big thanks for preserving the grounds they've held, but now is about to trash this sanctuary? The impact of low flying jets on the surrounding area will be enormous. I cannot believe that we need a new bombing site, let alone that nowhere else is better suited. Please don't do this. It will leave a scar on both the lovers of Big Sur, as well as on the Navy.

Michael Karagosian
Calabasas, CA


The Big Sur wilderness area is one of the last pristine areas available for spiritual and social renewal of American citizens. It is irreplaceable. It is not just "open wilderness" but is spiritual home to Native Americans, Catholic retreatants, and New Age visitors to the Esalen Center. Surely there are other wilderness areas where Naval exercises would not be so out-of-place, so antithetical to the traditional uses of the land.

Jean Holroyd-Sills
Avenue, Los Angeles, CA


There are too many hungry people and that you insist on such outrageous expenditures of energy and money that you should target the back yards of the jerks who come up with such proposalsinstead of places like San Antonio Valley.
Mike Macon


The Navy's proposal is UNCONSCIONABLE. The San Antonio Valley is a treasure that all Californians are proud of. Please exercise some humility, use a modicum of foresight, and explore other options for the location of this bombing range. To so violently disturb an ecological, archaeolgical, historical and cultural goldmine for something as banal as a testing range, and for something that essentially is supposed to PROTECT THE PUBLIC, would reflect minimal intelligence. Please open your eyes.
Sue Giffin
Los Angeles, CA


Big Sur is a national treasure and it would be tragic to disturb the serene beauty of the environment. Please register my objection to a bombing range in the San Antonio Valley.

Marjorie Schuman, Ph.D.
Los Angeles, CA



Pick another spot where people and environment are not so closely involved.

The Monastery at Big Sur is important to the whole World. Don't you see that?


Roland J. Dufour
Weare, NH


Fort Hunter Ligget is used by many people for recreation, camping, and hunting. It is a beautiful, peaceful area with a lot of wildlife that would most likely be adversely affected by the proposed activity. Please reconsider your plans and protect this valuable natural resouce.

Jeffrey D. Edwards
San Francisco


As a 63-year-old California native, I have witnessed the decimation of wilderness, as well as the extinction of wildlife and native plants. Now the Navy wants to help demolish one of the last pristine and spiritual places in our state by flying sorties over and bombing Stoney Valley in San Antonio Valley and the Santa Lucias in the Ventana Wilderness area of Big Sur.

With many other areas in our state available for drills that are not as ecologically sensitive or as full of already endangered wildlife to choose from, I implore the Navy to consider another location to fly over and drop their bombs.

The Navy says this training plan would save resources and money. What resources would be saved? Not the wildlife, native grasses and ancient Oaks!

Then there is the quiet beauty and spirituality which we all treasure in this place. Does the navy really believe that any amount of money saved could make up for destruction of one of the most beautiful andenvironmentally important places left in our state.
Margaret Wallace
Camarillo, CA

People come from all over the world to enjoy the pristine natural resources of the San Antonio Valley. There are few places remaining where one can enjoy such beautiful diversity in peace and solitude.

Establishing a jet fighter bombing range would jeopardize this priceless national treasure and violate the rights of all who choose to enjoy it.

I understand that the Navy will save some money by building a range here. But at what cost? In this case the safety of the ecosystem and the rights of both residents and visitors far outweigh the financial benefits of the plan. Natural resources are not renewable - once they are gone, they're gone forever.

Please respect the wishes of the public in this matter by canceling your plan to build the bombing range in the San Antonio Valley.

Thank you for your consideration.
Chris Kresser
Manhattan Beach, CA


The Ventana Wilderness is unique, both historically and biologically. The Navy already has two sites for bombing that are close enough to its bases. A distance of fifty or sixty miles doesn't make that much difference when you talk about a plane that flies 150 mph.
Gene Stender
San Clemente, Ca


This is inappropriate in the very valuable wilderness area where the base is located and will severely damage the contemplative quiet of the New Camaldoli Monastery that I am affiliated with.
Vik Slen
San Francisco, CA

The Big Sur area is a truly unique part of California, an area that deserves the utmost protection from development, from damage, and certainly from dummy bombs.

I urge you to reject the proposed bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. The existing facilities in Nevada and the California desert are adequate for the Navy's uses and do not contribute to further degradation of California's natural resources.
Greg Thomas
Fremont, CA


My wife and I have been regular visitors to Big Sur since 1970. We have visited the western and eastern sides of the Santa Lucia range. She is an artist and many Big Sur scenes are in her paintings.

We were outraged to hear that the Navy plans to fly 3000 jet fighter sorties annually in the San Antonio Valley.

People need the solitude and beauty of the Big Sur area for recreation.

The massive bombing project would be an arrogant asault not only upon the New Camaldoli Hermitage, which is very close to the propsed bombing area, but upon all of the 4 million people who visit the Big Sur area every year. The Navy's argument that they the San Antonio Valley is a few miles closer to their base than the ranges that they are currently using is so ridiculous that it is not even worthy of comment. The Navy assures us that they are "so accurate" that none of the environmental treasures in that area will be damaged by their bombing runs. Let them tell that to the crew of the Japanese ship that was recently sunk by that highly "accurate" Navy submarine in the Pacific. Please let us know if we can help your group in its opposition to this latest example of the Navy's insensitivity to the environment.
John E. Haley and Betty Field-Haley
Los Osos, CA


It truly boggles my mind that anyone could conceive to put such a rare and spectacular natural and cultural jewel to such a horrific purpose . . . the thought of turning this haven of life into a testing ground for death and destruction appalls me beyond description. Not only is the San Antonio Valley home to a significant percentage of the plant and animal species native to California, but some of these species can be found nowhere else, which has led the National Park Service to consider incorporating the area into the national park system. What will be our explanation to our children and grandchildren for the desolation we leave in the place of a once rich natural heritage? And what of the cultural heritage of San Antonio Valley? What of the members of the Salinan Nation, whose ancestors inhabited the valley thousands of years before Columbus first set sail for America, and whose culture is just beginning to witness a rebirth after centuries of cultural assimilation in the shadow of European dominance? San Antonio Valley is home to many of the Salinan Nation's sacred sites which, once destroyed, will be lost forever, much like the California condor or any of the other endangered species at risk under this proposal. Shall we obliterate the face of Yosemite Valley with missiles? Shall we reduce Yellowstone to rubble with hydrogen bombs? Shall we convince our European friends to use the Sistine Chapel for target practice? Such is the egregious nature of this proposal. It cannot be allowed, and it must not be allowed.

I understand and respect the Navy's need for facilities to ensure the defense and security of our nation -- the proper training of our fighter pilots is clearly paramount to the safety of America. There is, however, a time and place for everything, and San Antonio valley could not be a more inappropriate choice of location for this purpose. There are few arguments for, and many arguments against, the establishment of a bombing range at this location.

This matter, ultimately, goes beyond national security, beyond the protection of endangered species, beyond the preservation of an ancient but nearly extinct culture &endash; at its heart, this is a question of America's place in the history of human civilization. We, as a nation, have been uniquely endowed with natural wonders and a cultural diversity found nowhere else on Earth. Will we be remembered as the wise and benevolent protectors of the treasures in our midst, ensuring the preservation of our unique heritage for all generations, or will we be remembered for foolishly squandering these irreplaceable treasures? The citizens of America have voiced their opinion time and time again &endash; if America is to be considered a truly great nation, we cannot allow these treasures to be lost. The people of America have spoken, and we will be watching closely. Please, for the sake of our nation, do all that is possible to preserve and protect the natural and cultural heritage of San Antonio Valley.
Jeremy Jacob
Los Angeles, CA


I am not a Big Sur resident nor a Native American, but I am a native Californian and visitor to the Big Sur Coast and wilderness areas.

This is the most spiritual and magical of any place I have ever travelled.

To even consider such an insane idea must have come from someone who has never been there. I cannot begin to express my utter dismay and bewilderment at such a ridiculous plan. I urge you to NEVER again consider this idea. Please preserve the wild spaces for all of us...humans, animals and plants.
Susan A. Bell
Santa Barbara, Ca.


We have enjoyed our many visits to the Camaldoli Hermitage and are appalled at the potential effect that this bombing range might have on the sanctity of that space.
Laura and Kathy Brown
Santa Clara, CA

The Navy's plans for Fort Hunter Liggett truly disturb me. In every year since 1986 my friends and I have been enjoying the Ft. Hunter Liggett wilderness. I am distressed at the prospective degradation of the area. Although I agree with the importance of military training, please reconsider another bombing location that lacks the historical and ecological wonders of Ft. Hunter Liggett.
Ken Stevens
Montebello, CA

To say I was shocked to read an article in yesterday's L.A. Times regarding the Navy's plans to hold bombing practice for jet fighter planes near Big Sur would be a gross understatement!

I am painfully aware of how much is lost when we don't fight to preserve our pristine wilderness. In an age when children can become deadly accurate mass murderers simply by sitting around and playing video games all day, it is inconceivable that The Navy feels the only way to train fighter pilots is by destroying a fragile natural environment that can never be restored. Someone get these guys a screen and some buttons before they wipe out all that is beautiful in California!
Shelley & Greg Taylor

This proposed bombing training will disrupt both the invaluable local ecosystem and also harm the lifestlyle of residents.

Christopher Seal
Nevada City, CA

While I have supported our arm forces in many ways in the last 30 years, I feel that this action by the Navy in San Antonio Valley as well as over Big Sur is unacceptable. The natural 'jewels' in terms of the geological and biological diversity can not be endangered nor lost. In addition, the solitude that is part of this terrain is another treasure that can not be sacrificed as we have increasingly less places to recreate that nourishe the soul as well as the mind and body. I encourage all concern to resist this plan which is destructive not only for our generation, and for our future ones, but for all life that is there. I believe that our national interest is better served when we exhibit more thoughtful, creative stewardship of the land. I would hope that the Navy would be better neighbors at the very least to those who call the Santa Lucia's and San Antonio Valley their home and hearth. What better way to safeguard 'our' collective values and interests not by bombing but in demonstrating restraint and better protection of the land!

Robert Samonte-Tagalicod
Way, Pleasanton, CA


I am deeply saddened to hear of the Navy's interested in establishing a bombing range in the San Antonio Valley, so close to the unspoilt beauty of the Ventana Wilderness and Big Sur. Being an oblate associate with the monks at the New Camaldoli Hermitage near Lucia above the Big Sur coast, I am very sad to hear that low-flying supersonic jets are already intruding upon the contemplative silence which the monks have cherished for many years. Not only as an oblate with the Hermitage but as a tourist I know that I would have little interest in planning a vacation stay in a place where I had to hear the relentless sounds of jet fighters! For the sake of the monks as well as the local tourism industry, please reconsider your plans to establish the San Antonio Valley bombing range.

Respectfully yours,

Dana Eklund
Montrose, CA

Navy plans to construct a bombing range would greatly disrupt and degrade a priceless treasure of wilderness. Nearby is a Christian monastic community that has prayed and worked to live in harmony with all beings.

A bombing range is absolutely outrageous and wrong to consider for this area. Please, out of respect for all people who value the beauty and spiritual presence of this natural habitat, reconsider your plans, and cancel the bombing range.
Tom Gossard and Doug McKinney
Los Angeles, CA

I've been recharging my "batteries" in the Vantana Wilderness for more than 20 years. The sound of roaring jet engines would negate the healing powers that the wilderness provides. Please oppose the Navy's plan.
Will Hafertepen
Santa Cruz, Ca.


Proceeding with the plan would create irreparable harm to one of California's most beautiful and fragile coastline areas.
Jeffry B. Spencer
Bakersfield, CA


It would be an atrocity to abuse the ever-decreasing pristine beauty of our homeland. The Navy, as one of the military branches designated to PROTECT and DEFEND our nation, should be ashamed of even considering such disrespect and violation of both the land itself and the people who love the Big Sur area. Please, please don't continue with this project. As an American I am grateful to the men and women of the Navy for offering to protect my family and our rights, and I am trusting you to make the right decision in regard to Big Sur. Put your bomber range somewhere else.

Heather Schaffer
San Jacinto, CA


What's next? Yosemite? Yellowstone? San Antonio Valley is a beautiful mountain valley with as unique biodiversity as you will find anywhere in North America. I support our military forces here and abroad and recognize that there is a cost to our protection and freedom. However, isn't there a better place for military exercises than an area rich in biodiversity and cultural history?
Jerrold Grecu
San Francisco, CA

This is an impossible proposition! Akin to destroying the Hope Diamond in order to study diamonds in general. Or to dis-mantling Stonehenge to better understand rocks! There's got to be another way!
Deborah Randolph
San Luis Obispo CA


I urge you most fervently to desist from pursuing this misadventure of using the San Antonio Valley as a bombing range. It is ironic that for the purpose of defense we would even consider the self-destructive practice of using one of the most beautiful areas of our country,indeed a region sacred not only to the Salinan Indians, but to the monks of the Camaldolese Monastery, and to many thousands who know and love the area. The Santa Lucia mountains are an intrinsic part of our nation's heritage AND our future.

It is a place which stands as a living monument to all the values that we share, in spite of many differences. Ironic indeed that we should consider using for target practice a place that represents all the convergences of our culure: not only a natural wonderland, but a place where Native American, Mexican and Anglo-American cultures meet and intertwine. All who visit this area seek renewal, beauty, mystery, from hikers to contemplatives to tourists visiting the lovely Mission San Antonio.

It is, simply, a desecration of our very identity, inscribed in the Central Coast, which is recognized the world over as one of the natural and cultural wonders of the human race.

I call on you to consider the sorrow and the folly that future generations will charge us with, if we are to pursue this act of deliberate cultural self-degradation.

Dr. Michael Bradburn-Ruster
Prescott, AZ


It's hard to imagine a more stupid heavy-handed assault on one of the very few realtively untouched wild places in the west. Does the navy go looking for places they can destroy?
Jack Schanhaar
Novato, Ca


Please reconsider the plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. The ultimate question is how could we turn this beautiful area into a noisy jet fighters airport and pollute the whole area. Near by is the Big Sur Monastery which is a place of prayer and contemplation. Please safeguard this area and do not proceed with this plan.
Michele Lortscher
Highlands, NJ

No on the bombing range in the San Antonia Valley.
Mary Rose Oborne
Walnut Creek Ca
Plans for a bombing range in that part of the coast is unthinkable. Aside from the eco-system; there are monastic institutions which would suffer greatly. Don't do it!
jerome henry
Farmington, Missouri


It is critical for our culture and civilization that we preserve areas-- spaces -- from the kind of activity the Navy proposes in the Big Sur region--not only for their physical beauty but also for the silence and solutude they provide for communities of monks, nuns, and those who seek out their hospitality. People in our society increasingly need the opportunity for solitude and the religious communities (from eastern and western traditions)in the Big Sur area provide that solitude. In my area (northeastern U.S.) a community of hermit monks and nuns was driven out of Nova Scotia by pressure from a private corporation. The loss is very erwal. The gain is negligible.
R.M Smith

For many years I have traveled to Big Sur and the Camaldolese Monastery at Lucia. Home in Virginia I have often dreamed of returning once more to this beautiful, peaceful area. Please rethink your decision.
Madeline MacNeil
Winchester, VA

From what I know about facility availability particularly in California, I do not believe that this is a worhtwhile project for the region or for the US taxpayer.
Ed Clifford
Carmel, IN


I urge you to rethink and reverse your intention to utilize the San Antonio Valley in the Vendana Wilderness as a fighter jet training site. This plan has irreversible implications for the flora and fauna of the area, not to mention human beings in search of solitude. Indeed, the monks who provide a haven of solitude for many within California as well as the entire United States are in jeopardy of losing the solitude for which they are stewards for us all.

Lee Hayward
San Jose, CA

The Navy shows little respect for the land and the people! Planes pollute the land with lead, even when not dropping bombs. I presume that the bombs will be full of depleted uranium to sicken the land and the people. Noise, especially that which startles, is a major pollution
Dr. Rosalie Bertell, GNSH
Yardley PA

This is one of the last places in this part of california that is open to the public for hunting and fishing. I'm sure the wildlife won't appreciate the bombings.

barry edwards


You would be doing a horible thing, because you would be killing millions of animals. This area is a butifull landmark and you could do damage not only to this area but you could ruin the best restored mission, San Antoio De Padua. If you do such a stupid uncosiderate thing how would you be helping the United States? Isn't that your job to keep us and our land safe? But how can you do that when your trying to destroy Monterey and one of the most butifull landmarks in California? You are doing a selfish thing and you are not cosidering what consequenses might come your way!!!!
Jordyn Dupray
Valley Center, CA



I am strongly opposed to the Navy using this beautiful coastal area for bombing targets. Not only does it destroy the fragile ecological balance but it destroys the contemplative atmosphere of such wonderful retreats as the Camaldoli Hermitage & Esalen.

Lorie Adoff
San Luis Obispo,CA


This is an absurd use of that beautiful country as well as a threat to the ecosystem
Larry Moricca, Ph.D.
Dewolf Clovis CA,


Please reconsider!! Locating a bombing range and increasing military activity in the Ventana Wilderness will shatter its tranquility and upset the eco-system. The San Antonio area and the surrounding wilderness is one of California's few remaining natural treasures. Please do not invade or destroy this pristeen wilderness.
Leah Hall
Placerville, CA
This magnificient wilderness deserves absolute protection with no expansion of existing adverse uses. The extraordinary beauty and atmosphere of this area is world renowned. While the readiness of our armed forces is important, a bombing range in this location is an unacceptable and intrusive impact to the Ventana Wilderness ecosystem.

I strongly urge that local input on this issue be taken seriously and that the plans for a bombing range in the Big Sur area be rejected.
Marcia Laurent
Santa Barbara, CA


There is peace and then there is the management of peace.

please don't mix the two. one is so noisy, and the other so serene.

usn veteran & camaldolese oblate
ken phelan
Weston, CT

This is a pristine and precious area. A souped-up military presence in Big Sur and the Ventana range will be disastrous for wildlife and for humans seeking peace and solitude. Please fight strongly to not let this happen.
Kim Tyler
Santa Cruz

The Big Sur and Ventana Wilderness areas have been preserved for a long time and for good reason. It is completely irresponsible and disregards the law to endanger these areas now.
Julia Gallichio
San Francisco

Don't do it.

Condors, not contrails.
Dennis Morton
Santa Cruz, CA


This is a stupid and criminal plan. When will there be enough bombing ranges? The seven potential "rogue states" together with Russia and China spend only 35% of the U.S. military budget. We need to protect our "national security" with an additional bombing range like a moose needs a hatrack.

This mad search for supposedly "more" national security (in fact for more profits for the defense industry) will eventually choke us all together with the environment. The military have used enough land and water resources already.

Leave it alone! Go take a vacation at taxpayers' expense and learn about the value of quiet and pristine country; it will be a better use of the money. We don't need a single additional plane shattering the tranquility and upsetting the ecosystem of any piece of land anywhere, especially not the pristine San Antonio Valley. PLEASE don't go despoil it.
Dr. Annette Herskovits
Berkeley, CA

I hope the Navy will reconsider the plans to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. One would hope that the armed services would have the wit to listen to those whom it proposes to protect. Protection of a different sort is called for here.
Judy Schroeder
Orange CA



It is truly unthinkable to pick this area for a bombing range. This is a national treasure!

Please take the time to reconsider and please abandon this plan.

Thank you
Brigitte Desouches
Santa Cruz, CA


I am horrified to be informed that the Navy is considering having a jet fighter bombing range in Stony Valley. I am strongly opposed to this as I often retreat at the hermitage which is very close to this area. Silence is observed in this sacred area and that is why I come to retreat away from the noise of the world and the incessant demands that I have as a psychotherapist and a mother. The only noise I want to hear is of the ocean and at dusk, I can sometimes hear the flapping of the birds wings as they fly across the darkening sky. This is the one quiet spot on the Califonia Coast as most other spots are full of noises and people. We come to this place to find peace within and I have found such peace. We come to be healed by the earth and our senses are fed by the earth. We come to find peace with our God and our community. These navy fighter jets are weapons of war and they are symbols of hatred and unrest. The Navy Fighting Jets will shatter the silence at the Hermitage. This vulgar noise would pierce the holy silence. I am strongly opposed to this plan.
Patricia Neufeld

Please leave this area for all of us and our children to enjoy. There must be more appropriate areas in the desert for these tests. Thanks for listening.

Deborah Tisher
Santa Cruz,


Please rethink this plan. This area is so special. Is nothing sacred?
My name: Barbara Wood
Sonoma, CA


Change your plans to build a jet fighter bombing range in the beautifully alive, vibrant yet silent areas of Big Sur and San Antonio Valley.

When will the Native cultures, the natural diversity, the sacred space of the Camaldolise Hermitage, and the need for people to be at one with nature be taken seriously? The time is now. If not now, when? Change your plans.
Jean Faulk
Clovis, CA

This area is a natural treasure and should be protected and maintained as it is.
rachel sibley
San Diego

This plan constitutes an absolute misuse of the Ventana Wilderness and must not proceed. Our Big Sur Coastline and the wilderness adjacent are one of our national treasures. It is impereative that we protect them as such. This issue is of particular importance to me because I spend much of my quiet time in the Ventana Wilderness. I also spend a fair amount of time in Death Valley National Park and I can tell you from repeated experience, that the adjacent Naval Air Base is a continual problem. The regular flyovers are invasisve and extremely loud. And the abundance of illegal (below 500 feet) flyovers is stagering. One of the purposes of wilderness is to create safe havens from the increasing omnipresense of high technology and noise in our lives. Please do all you can to say a resounding no to this poorly conceived project and protect our National Wilderness.
Michael Emery
Santa Cruz, Ca

The preservation of such a precious natural resouce is at stake with the proposed jet fighter bombing range. I enjoy visiting the pristine beauty of the Ventana wilderness and the quite atmosphere it offers.
Victor Valdez
San Jose, CA
I find it nearly impossible to imagine that intelligent, mature individuals would even consider such an action. Intelligent, mature adults take dangerous toys away from our children to protect them from harm. It is time for intelligent, mature adults to step in and halt the Navy from moving forward with this plan to protect the plants, the animals, and the people of our state.
Anana Integre
Ben Lomond


I value above all the spiritual serenity and witness of this valley, and the monks and spiritual folks who live peaceably here. Besides, hasn't the Navy disgraced itself enough recently with its big fighting toys? Please, let the sane witness of the contemplative monks of New Camaldoli, just over the Santa Lucia Mountains, remain undisturbed. Its energy is far more essential to the well being of this planet than bombing ranges and fighter planes.
The Rev. Dr Cynthia Bourgeault, OSB Cam oblate
Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
I love the peacefullness of a vacation in Big Sur. I won't go there if there
is excessive noise and/or pollution.
Eric Ford
Boulder Creek, CA


It is essential for the Navy to find another location in which to practice sorties.
Jean Stadsvold
Bonny Doon CA


In mid-January, I was very alarmed to hear about the Navy's proposal for a bomber training target range within the Stony Valley area of Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL). I understand that fighter jets from Lemoore could save the Navy $3 million per year in fuel costs by using the FHL site instead of flying to more distant training ranges. Now, less than a month later I hear that the Navy has escalated the number of proposed flights. At the same time the Navy is revealing that jet fighters would also be flying in over the Santa Lucia range to the San Antonio Valley from aircraft carriers off the Big Sur Coast. These proposals disturb me deeply.

Margie Whitnah (letter continued)
As a former resident of California and a regular visitor to the state, I know the importance of peaceful places such as the Big Sur monastery, New Camaldoli. Please do not establsih a jet fighter range in that area.
Richard R. Leisy
Abiquiu, NM

As a resident of the Central Coast for 25 years, I strongly protest this action by the Navy to use the San Antonio Valley as a bombing test site. This is a completely inappropriate use of this precious natural resource. This is one of the last unmolested places in Coastal California where visitors can see what our state was like 150 years ago. Jet fighters flying overhead constantly will upset the precious, unique ecosystem, and slowly but surely erode the sense of place that is Naciemento/San Antonio. Why don't you move the base at Lemoor, closer to the desert instead?

This land is priceless and should be a National Park!
Melodie Milhoan
Watsonville, CA


Please consider the wilderness area and the retreat centers of this region and halt the bombing range plans.
Lynn A. Holmes
Durham, NH


A bombing range is not compatible with: nearby monasteries, a mission,and a wildernes area.

Please find another place for bombing practice.
Lawrence H. Balthaser
Los Osos CA


Catholics (and non-Catholics) from around the world fly to Central California to seek spiritual refuge and renewal at the New Camaldoli Hermitage.

Putting a bombing range nearby would be a violation of the people's right to the silence, peace and tranquility at the hermitage.
K & LWong, New Camadoli Oblate
Bellvue, WA


I have had the horrible, heart-stopping experience of having those jets fly over me in Big Sur. I am not as worried about the hermitage as I am about the adverse effects of that reckless behavoir on the wildlife in the area.
Barbara McKenna
Santa Cruz, CA




If I have to protect my home should I go out and buy some weapons and, practice on my house? Fortunately most of America hasn't adopted this mentality and it doesn't have to start now.
Martin DeGoey
Valley, CA


There are many other options that will be significantly less destructive than using this site. Please hear the voices raised in protest. Thank you.
Amber Ackman
Capitola, CA


There are plenty of other locations that would accomodate a bombing range. Why not do this in the empty and unihabited desert?
M. Foraker


This is an irresponsible choice of location for such military exercises.
Sonja Renander
San Francisco, CA


San Antonio Valley is an entirely inappropriate choice for such an expansion.
Marianne Bachleder




I am very concerned about the proposed bombing range at Hunter Liggett. Being a frequent visitor to Memorial Camp, Silver Peak Wilderness, Ventana Wilderness, and surrounding Area doing trail work as a volunteer, hiking, or leading groups to special places in the area. I would hate to see this area change as proposed by the Navy.

It has been proposed that 1000 missions will be flown in from the east consisting of multiple planes totaling 2820 per year, plus an additional 328 mission being flown in from the Pacific Ocean. This increase in the number of flight is totaling unacceptable to me.

It has been proposed that the planes will fly at high altitudes, then descend to the Bombing Site. Who will monitor these tactics? What will happen to the pilots who don't follow these rules?

I don't know if the pilots are following these tactics currently, but on any given day you can hear the deafening sonic booms, and roaring jets engines echoing across the many canyons as the jets fly over the Big Sur Coast line. A complete noise study of existing flights should be assessed, the flight patterns flown by the pilots, whether they conform to the designated flight plan, and any disciplinary action taken to pilots that have violated the flight plan.

The additional noise caused by these planes will have an impact on surrounding neighbors and will affect the land and housing values of the area. A complete economic study on land values tourism, recreation should be done to determine the short and long-range effects of adding the 2820 flights per year in this area.

What will the effects be on wildlife, especially the Endangered California Condor.

Please explain and document why two other naval bombing sites do not meet training requirements of the naval pilots?

Please discontinue your efforts to use Hunter Liggett as a training area for your pilots. There are already two other sites for these uses, which I feel, are adequate for your purposes. I feel future plans for Hunter Liggett would be to return large portions of the base to the National Forest with a Wilderness Designation allowing the continued rehabilitation the base has already enjoyed since its closure.
Gary Felsman
Arroyo Grande, CA


I would like to register that I am against any use of this or any other wilderness area or areas near a wilderness area for military purposes....This is a futhur distruction of what we are trying to preserve. All species will suffer including man, the more we disturb this delicate balance.
Sandy Fields


This is another example of the arrogance of the United States military. Their purpose is to protect the citizenry of the United States, not to destroy the natural wonders of this great land. It is unutterably abominable when the populous of this country must be fearful of its hired protectors.
Jon Ney
Torrance, CA


The area is too sensitive for such a use for the Navy, particularly since there are many other sites nationally that could be used with less harm to the local enviroment.

James Miller
Garden Creek Ranch


"Military intelligence"---what better proof of this oxymoronic phrasing than your notion of contaminating one of the last natural places in our state!

Don't even think about it!

Try Los Angeles where no one will care or even notice your brandishment of stupidity!


Michael Robertson
Pacific Grove, CA


It would have a disastrous affect on the natural habitat and wildlife. I am extremely concerned about this.

Susan Hillyard
Santa Cruz


It is morally reprehensible that such a beautiful and sacred area would be even considered for bombing. I participate in the Wildflower Triathlon and can't image what the Navy is thinking!

Please cease and desist!

Linda Rudin
Daly City, CA


With rapid urbanization, there are few places where people can get in touch with their inner selves through nature. This is a remarkable place for humans and animal life. Please don't spoil it!

Eduardo C. Fernandez, S.J.
Berkeley, CA


It is time we start paying homage to the sacredness of our natural jewels. Let us find alternatives to this military invasion. We have far more to learn from the San Antonio Valley with far greater payback to our human condition...

Susan Hopp


The secretary of the Navy has never visited this region of our great country, otherwise he would understand that lands like the San Antonio Valley are the perfect example of what the US armed forces were created to protect...not destroy.

Steven Sakadales

Big Sur is one of the few truly protected natural areas still around. We can't move the area, but you can move the bomber training.

Christi Carew
Santa Cruz,



I am a native of Santa Cruz, CA and live in Rep. Farr's congressional district. My plea is not unique. Please abort the Dep't of Navy plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. Twenty years ago I joined my oldest brother on my first overnight wilderness camping experience in San Antonio Valley. It is horrifying to me that the area will be polluted in this way by the Navy's military training plans. I also support the Cameldolese Benedictine monastery located nearby and am greatly disturbed at the effects the increased military activity will assuredly have on this sacred monastic refuge. I urge your serious attention to my concerns and join my voice to the many critical opponents.

Margaret O'Shea
Santa Cruz, CA

The military has never cared about the wishes and concerns of the people who already live in the area it proposes to manipulate and the fact that they will,once again, detroy other people'slives.

But conscience compells me to to what I can to help a lost cause.

Jonathan Hunter-Kilmer, OSBCam Obl
Vienna, VA

As a triathlete who trains several times a year at Lake San Antonio for weekends at a time, I have enjoyed the wildlife that surrounds me. Visiting that valley brings me a sense of peace. To have that tainted would leave very little places left in the world to enjoy and get away from noise polution.

Cristin A. Reichmuth
Santa Cruz


I realize the importance of providing yourselves with remote places to practice jet fighter bombing, but must you destroy one of the most ecologically and culturally valuable jewells in the state of California in your process of doing so? I am a student at UC Santa Cruz who takes great pride in the few natural wonders that still exist right in our backyard,and I cannot urge you enough to reconsider your plan to turn the sacred and beautiful San Antonio Valley into a bombing range for your jet fighters- I am sure there are other areas you could choose that would not result in such widespread damage to the environment and drastic disrespect to cultural values!

Julia Swanson Prange
Santa Cruz, Ca


How incongrous! In Big Sur, a place where thousands come to find breathtaking beauty and spiritual solace, to even consider a bombing range, with aircraft carriers anchored off the coast gives new meaning to the oxymoron, "military intelligence." The tranquility of Big Sur, of the various spiritual communities who are based here, of the condors, the whales, and all creatures, including we humans who frequent this great wilderness area, will be irrevocably shattered. But, then, isn't this what war is all about? Please don't declare war on Big Sur. We will fight back but our weapons will be different. They will not destroy a single precious thing.

Amber Coverdale Sumrall
Santa Cruz, CA


I have been a frequent camper at Kirk Creek Campground on the Big Sur coast for over 25 years. The Navy's proposal of a practice bombing area over the San Antonio Valley is horrendous and stupid. This coastline and mountain area is a California treasure bordering on the sacred. I have witness the return of the sea otter, sea lions and the passage whales. I have thrilled at the site of eagles and condors soaring the mountain ridges once again. The grizzlies are gone forever but in the last few years a few mountain lions have found their way back to this pristine refuge. Nature given a chance heals itself. During my own retreats from the insanity of the Silicon Valley I have found peace and healing in the tranquility of the mountains and the roar of the ocean. No telephones for miles. Cell phones don't work either. I have witnessed the pleasure and awe of tourists from all over the U. S., Europe and Asia as they enjoy our beautiful and accesible Big Sur coast. And there is another point to ponder, we Californians pay a considerable amount in taxes to maintain that stretch of highway between Carmel and Cambria so that all may visit this area. Should we now allow the constipated thinking of small segment of our U.S population destroy what we have paid for?
Peg Muszynski

This is an inappropirate land use, and will deminish the quality of life in the surrounding communities.

It would disturb wildlife and create a nuisance for residents in the area.

Robert Seale
Palm Springs, CA


The proposed area is too precious to be misused as a bombing range!

There are many less vulnerable areas in the US to be used for this purpose
Karl H. Elser
Castroville, CA



Th ough economically this base may make sense. Environmentally and aesthetically it would be a failure.
Alex Soejarto
San Francisco


There are too many reasons not to do this type of activity. Pleaseconsider an area more suitable for the bombing activity.
Paul Fridlund
Monterey, CA


There are better areas to have jet training. Places of silence and solitude need to be preserved; we need to move away from violence and threat of violence to become better human beings.
Paul Schryba
Mountainside, NJ


The Big Sur wilderness is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Are there really people who think a bombing range is the right use of that land? I know that millions of people would be horrified of that.
Robert Forte
Santa Cruz, CA

You should be ashamed of yourselves for even concidering establishing a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. It is one of the most pristine areas left. HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!
Judith Lovato
Santa Fe, NM

As a Vietnam veteran I am opposed to war making preparations of any sort.

Practically the Navy has the power to do what ever it wishes. However it must understand it is not in its own best interest to violate the physical and social environment in such a blatant manner.
Carl R. Stancil
Santa Cruz


I have walked for many miles in the Ventana Wilderness and it is one of the great treasures of California. I strongly believe the impacts of an adjacent bombing range would greatly damage or destroy the solitude, wildlife and other values of the area.
Alexander Gaguine
Santa Cruz, CA

Please do not to go ahead with the plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. I thought this was a cruel joke at first...can you imagine the damage to the ecology, heritage, culture, business - and not to be overlooked PUBLIC OPNION that this ludicrous proposal would have if carried out??

If you value any of things for yourself, your children, or your country's government, do not move on this project. To pretend that fly-overs or sorties have no effect on the surrounding areas is to insult all of our intelligences. Do not pretend. Do not proceed. Please.

Heather Granahan
Healdsburg, CA



We who live in the cities of America depend on being able to go to areas like the San Antonio Valley and surrounding wilderness areas to replenish our serenity and our understanding of the true beauty of life. In this era of rampant technology, there surely is an alternative to destroying the peace of this area.

Jane Lurie
Oakland, CA


The United States already HAS bombing ranges in Nevada, White Sands Missile Range, and other places that have already wreaked their havoc on the environment. That damage is done. Let's use the ones we have, even if it means pilots and their aircraft have to commute to those ranges out of state and even if those ranges are owned and managed by other branches of the military. Cooperate with each other in the use of training ranges rather than construct ranges for each branch!

It seems arrogant and not well thought out for the Navy to plan to construct a bombing range next to, as well as within, a unique natural wilderness area in a state (California) that is already overcrowded and overdeveloped and losing wilderness and species to development at a rapid pace.

I strongly encourage the Navy to rethink it's proposal and make efforts to cooperate with other branches of the military in the use of their ranges for bombing training rather than spend taxpayer money on constructing a new one in the midst of a priceless treasure along the California Coast.
Kelly Simmons
Boulder, CO  


I am writting to you from Brazil, even though I am not american, because I was appaled to know that the Big Sur area is being endangered by the US navy. It is one of the most special and magic coasts on earth!

Please don't destroy it, I can't believe that this idea even crossed someone's mind -- this would be such a brutality to all the biodiversity and wilderness that touch our hearts and souls with their very special energy there.

Please, preserve life where it exists in its most beautifull and blessed form!

This would be a crime agains nature and against humanity! Let Big Sur be!
Selma Ciornai
São Paulo, BRAZIL

Do NOT bomb our homeland! What can you be thinking?!
Joan Donato
Boulder Creek, CA

Anyone who would contemplate bombing the San Antonio Valley has obviously never spent time there. I urge everyone in the Navy to visit the area before deciding to proceed with this plan.
Jennifer Prentiss
Los Gatos, CA


Surely there must be a more suitable place for bombing practice? A place of less ecological sensitivity and natural splendor. Remember that some damage, once wrecked, cannot be undone. Please work in favor of the country you protect, not against it. I'm sure somewhere there is an alternative solution palatable to everyone.
Lothlorien Homet
San Francisco


The United States has a formidable military, with extensive training facilities already in existence. With the threat of the Cold War gone, we have little need to increase our training facilities, and it is a waste of tax payer money to do so.

In addition, the training facilities you have proposed will affect precious natural terrain, along with the lives of residents who have enjoyed the peace of this area for many years.

For the good of all of us, do not build this fighter bombing range.

Melissa Anne Povye
Seattle Wa


As a founding member of the Four Winds Council, I write to urge you NOT to proceed with the plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley of Big Sur. The Four Winds Council is an association of retreat centers in Big Sur that share in common the Ventana wilderness as their home.

The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the Window To The West, the New Camaldoli Hermitage, and the Esalen Institute all treasure the silence and pristine beauty of this wilderness area and its natural, historical and spiritual resources.

We serve, collectively, thousands of visitors a year...people who come from all over the world to partake of the gifts which this land offers. To literally bombard it with flyovers from jets is to destroy our most valuable resource which is the sense of retreat which we offer our students, residents and guests.

Now, more than ever, people need places of retreat where they can contact themselves more deeply. The wilderness, and in our case, the Ventana Wilderness, has been that place of retreat where Nature, not humankind, dominates. The noise and rush of the modern world needs the antidote of wilderness so that we may reconnect with Spirit and rediscover the essential values that give life meaning.

I know the Navy is looking at this in a practical way thinking of the money they may save on fuel and the various efficiencies of this proposal. But I suggest that the cost of losing yet one more place which is undisturbed by the noise and violence of human beings is far greater. There are millions of visitors who come to Big Sur annually to get away from crowded urban areas, to unplug from the noise and nonsense of their lives, and they don't come to Big Sur to hear the screech of low flying aircraft. That sound doesn't belong here, no matter how much money it may save. Please, hear us who speak for wilderness, for places of retreat, for hikers and monks, for birds and animals and people who need simply to be left alone to enjoy the rarest thing the world today offers...silence in a setting of incredible natural beauty which human kind has not yet destroyed.
Brian Lyke
Carmel, CA


I must admit, the thought of the Navy even considering placing a training site, in this pristine wilderness area, that is so available and close to human land use, is beyond my comprehension... I have to wonder what is going on with the Dept. of the navy.... this on top of the sonar radar use in our oceans, blindly arrgant and indifferent to the effects of the sonar on the whales ..... now this ...... Obviously the Navy is showing such a bold self absorption and self rightousness ..... as if nothing can stop them, and their view is the only sane and rightous view in the defense of the country... with such disregard of the land and oceans of this nation, I have to wonder what they think they are defending ...

This must be stopped, I feel strongly about this as an ex-Big Sur resident... who has deeply appreciated the wonder and value of the Big Sur land area, mountain and ocean in such deep harmony..... a rare beauty for the citzens of this country and visitors of other countries to visit .... No longer living locally, what can I do to be helpful. asthere seems to be a pattern to the Navy's behavior that needs to be confronted.
Jessica Britt
San Rafael, Ca.

I believe that this is a truly ignorant idea. Don't do it. Practice your bombing sorties on, oh, Iraq.
Jay Weinshenker
Austin, TX


Following world historian Arnold Toynbee's evaluation of civilizations their rise and decline, he said a civilization when it is nearing its end, shows a strong emphasis towards militarism. Past history has confirmed this. I think that the U.S. is now entering such a stage of self-annihilation with so much of an emphasis on hardware, training and missile development, when there are scarcely any enemies around.

I shall also add that the U.S. government and White generals from the very first moment it was formed killed the natives who gave us this land, the Ventana wilderness and others, and now to cap it all, the very same organ of utter insensitivity is finishing the job of destruction by scorching the land and habitat.

This thought as always has always seemed unpleasant to Whites, but now they will see how terribly wrong, insensitive, callous,and unethical such a White tradition has been. Ecological, humanitarian faces are shown to us as if as democratic, in truth this government is tyrannical, and never cares to listen to the good and cultured citizen. It has always flaunted that force, power and might is right. The Indian wept at such a culture of sheer one sidededness. Its time the average White citizen became Indian and fought tooth and nail to do away with such attitudes of colonial terror. The British were milder compared to the U.S. or look at the green of Cornwall, Wales and respect for the highlands of Scotland. Compared with European colonial powers, the U.S. is so paranoid and materialistic of late as to be deemed insane. I can say no more. I'm sorry I shall have to keep some of my personal references private and in confidence, because this same power will seek to retaliate and hurt me for my ideas true though they may be. This also George Orwell's forecast of BIG BROTHER come true.
A. Trindade
Glen Cove, N.Y.


As a frequent visiter to the Big Sur coast and the Ventana Wilderness, I believe that the Navy's proposal to set up a bombing range would have a significant impact on both the animals and the human visitors and residents. Having lived near a bombing range in Japan, I know how disruptive this activity would be.

Besides the negative impact such a move would have on the Navy's image would more than offset any fuel cost savings by having a bombing range closer than the current one. Recruitment budgets would have to be increased to offset the damage done if the Navy hopes to meet recruitment targets. Further, if the reason for this move is save money, the Navy might want to consider cutting Fleet Week activities or at least making them less frequent in cities like San Francisco.
Shawn Miller
San Francisco, CA

This plan is flawed from a number of perspectives:

1) it will result in irreparable harm to the ecosystems in the area

2) it will result in an unwarranted intrusion into the daily life at several significant spiritual centers, including New Camaldoli Hermitage.

I realize that, from the Navy's perspective, this may seem to be a reasonable option.

But the land, the people, and the natural systems that would be affected are not solely the Navy's. They are resources that should remain undisturbed for both this current generation and future generations of Americans.

As a scientist, as a Christian, as an American, I urge you with all my heart NOT to proceed with this plan. The costs, in terms of people's lives and ecological health and richness, are far too great.
Matthew A. Fisher, Ph.D.
Monroeville, PA


Some day people will fully appreciate the value of our precious desert ecosystems. Please have more respect for the land in our beloved country. Just because we now have a few large parks, does not mean that the rest of California's deserts are open to abuse.
Jake Schweitzer
Berkeley, CA,

Wouldn't desert sites make more sense than this scenic hilly costal site?
John Quiring
Upland, CA

We can find an appropriate site with less negative impact.
John Burik
Cincinnati, OH


Stop this madness! Preserve our planet! Keep military maneuvers away from pristine prime locations of serenity and beauty.

I am horrified to learn that the U.S. Navy plans to use the Big Sur environs as a test bombing site. Whomever is responsible for this decision should hang their head in shame and fall to their knees in front of God who created the natural majesty of this area. Please, in the name of God and all that is sacred, reconsider!
Linda Valenti
Highlands, NJ

I consider myself to be pro-military, but the Big Sur area is one of the most serene and unique areas I have ever had the pleasure to experience. I think it would be tragic to disrupt it's beauty in this way.
Chris Davis
Woodside, CA

It is incredible that anyone would even think of having a bombing range in this area. I am reminded of John Muir's comments about the damming of the Hetch Hetchy: they might as well bomb a cathedral.
Nick Rodin


please hear us loud and clear. no bombers over big sur!!!
betts richter


Please! Find someplace else to bomb. For heavens sake, what makes you think you can bomb a place of beauty and NOT have people be outraged?

Sheila Faris-Penn
Fullerton, CA


The time, energy, and money spent on this abomination should be redirected toward saving this planet and it's suffering masses instead of destroying it. You will give account before God.
Gary T. Bauer, S.S.F.
Lower Burrell, PA

This proposal would do great harm to the natural beuaty of the area and animals living there. Please reconsider this decision!!!
Esteban Sardera
San Francisco, CA

This is an outrage.
Serge Frolov
Claremont, CA  

This is an inappropirate land use, and will deminish the quality of life in the surrounding communities.

It would disturb wildlife and create a nuisance for residents in the area.
Robert Seale
Palm Springs, CA


It would be a terrible shame to allow this sort of activities to go on in such an important area. as a long term central coast resident,who has visited the san antonio valley many times,i beg you to reconsider this plan. thank you for time. sincerely, jeff brown
jeff brown

There are many other options that will be significantly less destructive than using this site. Please hear the voices raised in protest. Thank you.
Amber Ackman
Capitola, CA

This is an irresponsible choice of location for such military exercises.

onja Renander
San Francisco, CA


There are plenty of other locations that would accomodate a bombing range. Why not do this in the empty and unihabited desert?
M. Foraker


The San Antonio Valley is an entirely inappropriate choice for such an expansion.
Marianne Bachleder

Why can't all the other fairly accessible live fire sites be used? For example, Ft. Irwin, north of Edwards AFB, or what about China Lake.

This proposal does not make sense.

Are no other sites available? Will flight patterns be restricted? Why do these pilots need this sort of training if the US military has so many smart weapons at its disposal.

Let Navy join the Marines at Ft.Irwin. Cooperate!
Bob Henderson
Palo Alto, CA


What's next? Yosemite? Yellowstone? San Antonio Valley is a beautiful mountain valley with as unique biodiversity as you will find anywhere in North America. I support our military forces here and abroad and recognize that there is a cost to our protection and freedom. However, isn't there a better place for military exercises than an area rich in biodiversity and cultural history?
Jerrold Grecu
San Francisco,


I oppose the proposed Navy bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. I have been a Northern California resident most of my life, and I look forward to the day in the not-so-distant future when I can move back there. As an environmentalist, father and believer in non-violence, I do not support what the Navy is doing or the place they propose to do it.

So many irreplaceable natural resources have been lost due to greed and short-sightedness, and for countless reasons this area must not be another casualty. There are far more important priorities to protect here than military ones.

I do not believe the rhetoric justifying any need for this. National security is an excuse to keep the military industrial complex healthy.

There are of course going to be accidents which the Navy airily dismisses as a possibility, and neither the people or the wildlife or the region need the pressure of bombing runs, regardless of whether real or dummy bombs are dropped!

I want my children and grandchildren to learn to appreciate the beauty in California that has managed to survive the thoughtless ravages of the Twentieth Century.

And lastly, it is difficult to teach children to resolve conflict without aggression when they see the example set by our government, the real rogue nation of the world that uses our tax dollars to bully all others into submission with bombings anytime they see fit.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Don Sanders
Los Angeles, CA

I am very opposed to this plan to fly Navy jets over the Big Sur coastline and Ventana Wilderness. As many writers have stated over the years, Big Sur is almost a magical juxtaposition of land and sea.

There is truly no place in the world quite like Big Sur. The disturbance to the harmony of the area by having jets overflying would be worse than the current situation in the Grand Canyon, where tourist planes overflying the area have destroyed the natural peacefulness.

Do not allow this plan to proceed!

elvin W. Webb II, Ed.D.
Salinas, CA


I believe that this region should be preserved "as is" in perpetuity, particularly for the beauty, authenticity, and natural setting of Mission San Antonio de Padua. Disturbing this sanctuary to flora, fauna, and history is unpardonable! Drop your bombs out in the desert on existing ranges! Stay away from California's beautiful coastal area - it is only a small remnant of what used to be anyway!
Angus A. MacDonald
Granada Hills, CA


The San Antonio Valley is too precious a resource to waste as a bombing range. Stop this plan now!
Dan Rutherford
Stanford CA

I strongly oppose the plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. This would be a travesty to what little wildnerness and natureal resources we have left in CA. Please DO NOT LET the navy destroy this beautiful area for the purposes of warfare!
Christine Cannavo
Lafayette, CA


This area is critical in helping to reestablish the Condors and other species on the brink of extinction.
Deborah Sanders

This would ruin the natural, pristine beauty of this area. We have so few areas left in our Country that have not been blighted by development. Please do not harm this natural masterpiece.
Ruthann Marquez
Bakersfield, CA


I oppose the proposal to bomb the San Antonio Valley!!!

The land you are proposing to bomb is in many peoples opinion, who visit here from all over the world, The MOST BEAUTIFUL place in the united states even in the world.

The surrounding national forest is PRISTINE and many people acses it through Fort Hunter Liggett. I do and I considered that part of the drive my favorite with all the oak trees and wild flowers and incredible geographic land marks.

Bombing in the San Antonio Valley would destroy this for all Americans and other visitors.

This area is a place people come to relax experience nature,Hike and much more PLEASE LEAVE THE SAN ANTONIO VALLEY ALONE. Fort Hunter Liggett would serve its country best by allowing it to return and remain a natural part of the Los Pradres.
Jennifer Buckland
Rachel Moody
Apple pie ridge
Big Sur


It would be a great tragedy for all living things, humans and animals alike, to have any kind of military activities in this area (and any area at all for that fact). use the resources to protect our environment, not to destroy it. bombing exercises equal killing in the long run. deploy our military, not increase the activities.
jutta jacobs
cambria, ca


The military should proceed with options that don't have such significant impact on area residents and wildlife. We only have one chance to get this correct.

Please stop the bombing range before damage occurs that cannot be corrected.
Richard S. Coffey
Laguna Niguel CA


An intrusive event such as this would destroy the unique character of one the world's greatest natural treasures. I beg you to reconsider.
David Lachiondo
Boise, Idaho


The fragile Big Sur area needs the protection of the Navy not it's intrusion.

Please keep this precious area quiet and safe.

May God keep you safe and uphold you in every good deed.
Rev. Mr. Dennis Dolan
Colchester Ct

I strongly oppose the plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. This would be a travesty to what little wildnerness and natureal resources we have left in CA. Please DO NOT LET the navy destroy this beautiful area for the purposes of warfare!
Christine Cannavo
Lafayette, CA


The San Antonio Valley is a beautiful, peaceful area. It would truly be a tragedy to allow the Navy to construct a bombing range in this area. I am certain something of this nature would have extreme negative effects on all of the animal and plant life in the area. Please do not allow this bombing range to be built in the San Antonio Valley.
Allison McKee
San Francisco, CA


We live in the Central Coast because it is a true gift to the senses; a constant spiritual experience. The environment here is unbelievable; many endangered and threatened species live here. The near-extinct California Condor makes its home here and the coast is a marine sanctuary.

Why are you going to destroy this by flying bombers overhead everyday? Have yo considered the consequences of what you are proposing? Have you considered the people who LIVE here? Have you considered the plants and animals that LIVE here?

Have you thought of anyone besides yourselves and your war games?

We have. We have tried to protect this land for future generations. We have chosen this place to live for its serenity and peacefulness.

Your plans go against everything this area stands for.

We hope you will re-think your plans.
Heather Richman
Santa Cruz, CA


This habitat should not be bothered by bombs. There more appropriate places than this for bombing sites.
Madeline Daniels
Monterey, CA


Please reconsider the location you have chosen; this area needs to be protected both for the natural resources it offers and for the sake of the contemplative communities that have been living in the Ventana wilderness for years.
Rebecca Stevens
Pacific Grove, CA


As a frequent visiter to the Big Sur coast and the Ventana Wilderness, I believe that the Navy's proposal to set up a bombing range would have a significant impact on both the animals and the human visitors and residents. Having lived near a bombing range in Japan, I know how disruptive this activity would be.

Besides the negative impact such a move would have on the Navy's image would more than offset any fuel cost savings by having a bombing range closer than the current one. Recruitment budgets would have to be increased to offset the damage done if the Navy hopes to meet recruitment targets. Further, if the reason for this move is save money, the Navy might want to consider cutting Fleet Week activities or at least making them less frequent in cities like San Francisco.
Shawn Miller
San Francisco

California is increasingly crowded. Population pressures combined with an expanding economy push people deeper and more frequently into nature areas.

Before we lose it all, we must strive to preserve what is left.

I respectfully ask you to prevent the establishment of ANY bombing range, and to prevent the expansion of existing ones. This goes for San Antonio Valley, as well as the ranges in the Mojave Desert (Fort Irwin) and the Chocolate Mountains.

Matthew Jalbert
San Francisco CA


PLEASE don't allow the Navy disturb or even destroy the beautiful San Antonio Valley. This is a sensitive habitat and should be protected from the Navy's plan to use it as a bombing range.
Kai Langenberg
Lafayette CA

Unconscionable that the Navy would think of using Big Sur, one of California's most unique beautiful site as a bombing training site. Unreal!
Jim Driscoill
Fresno, CA

The practical exigencies of national defense are real, however there is no compelling argument presented in the Navy proposal which could in any way be taken to outweigh the numerous claims against the project.

These claims, based on environmental, spiritual, cultural, religious, and civilian values outweigh the thin, completely utilitarian rationale for the Navy's plans--basically one tries to save some dollars in fuel expenses at the cost of grave and irrevocable loss and human wounds that will never heal. Weighing a weak, merely utilitarian objective against the numerous values tallied on the other side exposes this plan to be irrational, misguided, and, in sum, immoral. It is not worthy of our nation, and our military should make a practice of aiming higher in its capacity to deliberate meaningfully about how to best train its dedicated personnel.
Judith A. Jones, Ph.D.
Fordham University
Bronx, New York

I oppose this plan.
Kieran Bahn
Santa Cruz, CA

I think you could find somewhere else to practice bombing, since it is a military necessity. It may pay off for you in the long run to relocate to a less inhabited and less environmentally preserved area.
Andy Lepisto

These plans would destroy a world-class jewel.
David E. Roy, Ph.D.
Fresno, CA


This is a hideous "plan" which has no merit whatsoever. Not only does it threaten wildlife, much of which is endangered, it also will damage this delicate and pristine environment which so many organizations and individuals have worked long & hard to preserve and protect. As it is, I personally have had experiences with low flying military aircraft "buzzing" my home (& about which neither I nor the FAA were able to do anything about) but I've also seen "hot-dogging" military planes doing the same thing to whales off our coast. I'mextremely concerned also about the added risk of wildfires, not to mention the possibility of these being caused by aircraft crashes in wilderness areas that are difficult, if not impossible, for crews to reach, much less control. This area also is a scenic viewshed, and I strongly object to having dozens of military aircraft destroying the VIEW. I'm appalled that we who are fortunate enough to live here must battle all sorts of burocracies to even remodel our homes, must now face the threat of massive noise pollution as an added insult. There is no rhyme or reason to this unacceptable idea. It is, pure & simple, an assault not only on the sensibilities of the local population, as well as a propsal that flies in the face of what appears to be "lip-service" regarding the sanctity of this land and the refuge it provides to such a magnificent variety of rare & endangered species. Whoever came up with this misguided idea should be ashamed of themselves for caring so little for this remarkable and unique land.
Al Shelly
Bixby Canyon
Carmel, CA


Such training is absolutely essential; Can you use a floating targets range at sea?

How about a desert range? I believe there must be an alternative site to the San Antonio Valley. Can you convince me otherwise?
Jim Challis

This plan is an outrage and another public relations blunder the Navy does not need just now, if ever.

There are places for you to do your training..this is a sacred and valuable area of our country that would be damaged daily by your presence.
Suzanne Campodonico
Menlo Park, CA  


A bombing range near Esalen is a ludicrous idea. I travel to Big Sur at least once a year for rest, renewal, learning and retreat at Esalen. I have done so for many years. I can't even begin to imagine what the Navy's proposal will do to the fraginl natural environment.

I remember several years ago seeing from the hot tub at Esalen a California condor flying along the coast. I am sickened by the prospect of seeing bombers carrying "simulated" weapons of mass destruction from the same vantage point.

Carol Gray
Portland, OR


The San Antonio Valley is part of our natural heritage and should be preserved to be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren.

On account the the unique wildlife and the immediate national forest area, you must do all you can to prevent a naval bombing site from being built.

Matt Mustapick
Santa Cruz, CA

To establish this site will do visual and noise damage to one of the most pristine and picturesque area on the West Coast. I strongly oppose this and urge you to reconsider and stop this proposed development.
Les C. Lucas
Fresno. Ca

his atrosity to our public heritage must be stopped right here and now. The Ventana wilderness is one of last bastions of freedom on the central coast that has not been spoiled by the intrustion of man.
Mark Cwetna
Half Moon Bay, CA


When you realize that all of us that have heard of this project oppose it, and if it were possible to let every adult in our total country know of it, all would be in agreement...DON"T DO IT!
Ria P. Ericson
Sonoma, CA.


If people come to beautiful places in nature and see how interconnected and interrelated all life is, they will lsee that it is in enlightned self interest to learn to resolve conflict without violence. Ultimately if the human species doesn't learn, we will use the h-bombs and kill most of our species. Violence leads to violence. And we all will lose.

You may say, "but what about them?" We need to teach "them". They don't want war either - they have children and we either buy or manufacture their products. They too are beginning to know , we are all in this together.
Pat Sundermeyer
Santa Cruz


Please do not plan this assualt on one of the most precious natural rescources on the planet. There are enough natural disasters without creating one. Every year I enjoy peaceful time at Tassajara center and Esalen Institute. Big Sur is one of the few quiet pristine spots left in the area. This bombing will also affect tourism in the area.Please choose another place that does not impact so many people.
Patricia Covici M.F.T.
Santa Cruz


The area in question in California is one of the most beautiful in our great country. I have so many memories from this place and see no reason at all that it should be considered so expendable as to be detroyed voluntarily. Please think about the consequences of such harsh actions!
Nicole Stewart
Evanston, IL


It would be tragic if the 'peace dividend' meant we must now bomb monks and condors.
Dennis J. Graham
San Francisco, CA


I oppose the proposed Navy bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. I have been a Northern California resident most of my life, and I look forward to the day in the not-so-distant future when I can move back there.

As an environmentalist, father and believer in non-violence, I do not support what the Navy is doing or the place they propose to do it.

So many irreplaceable natural resources have been lost due to greed and short-sightedness, and for countless reasons this area must not be another casualty. There are far more important priorities to protect here than military ones.

I do not believe the rhetoric justifying any need for this. National security is an excuse to keep the military industrial complex healthy.

There are of course going to be accidents which the Navy airily dismisses as a possibility, and neither the people or the wildlife or the region need the pressure of bombing runs, regardless of whether real or dummy bombs are dropped!

I want my children and grandchildren to learn to appreciate the beauty in California that has managed to survive the thoughtless ravages of the Twentieth Century.

And lastly, it is difficult to teach children to resolve conflict without aggression when they see the example set by our government, the real rogue nation of the world that uses our tax dollars to bully all others into submission with bombings anytime they see fit.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Don Sanders
Los Angeles, CA


SORTIE (sor'te) an armed attack made from a place surrounded by enemy forces.

S O S (es'o-es')
a call or signal for help or rescue.

It's ironic that SOS follows SORTIE in the dictionary.

I hope that you will consider taking your sorties to a less fragile environmentso we can continue to save Big Sur.
John Waszak
Manhattan Beach, CA


As a property owner in this area my husband and I are VERY opposed toestablishing a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley.
Carol and Fred Kenyon
Bradley, CA.

I am entirely opposed to the idea of using the Big Sur coast for bombing practice. I think this would have disastrous consequences for one of our most beautiful and pristine areas, affecting the environment, the ecosystem, and the quality of life for those who live and visit there.
Sylvia Bortin
Santa Cruz

The nobler side of naval history was to defend a country defending the values of the camadolese monks; i will hope that you listen to these people of God.
brian m. woolliams, stanford '81
Calgary, Canada


It's an outrage to begin violating this pristine valley with the noise and exhaust not to speak of tial bombing etc. Instead, this valley should become a state park to get the attention it deserves for its geological biological, cultural and natural history!
Sigrid McLaughlin, PhD
Santa Cruz, CA


i can't believe that the navy plans to use this pristine wilderness for bombing practice! this is an outrage & totally inappropriate.would you consider bombing yosemite or the farallon islands? the state should act to protect this precious california treasure.
elizabeth baskett
santa rosa, ca.


I am so amazed that anyone would even suggest such a terrible idea. The area in question is so unique and special and deserves even more protection than it currently has. Since I was a little girl I have cherished the wildlife and unique biodiversity of the sea, mountains, valleys and canyons there. The reason it is the most beautiful place in the world is because it is relatively unditurbed and it should remain that way! I am a student in Biology and plan on doing my Masters studying Big Sur's wilderness because of the rareness and uniqueness and beauty of the environment. I will do everything I can to fight off any threat to this special place and think anyone who spent even just an hour hiking in the Santa Lucias would feel the same desire to protect the nature there. Please stop all plans to interfere with this wilderness and find somewhere else to develop your bombing range.
Holly Haley
Seattle, WA

The area is too sensitive for such a use for the Navy, particularly since there are many other sites nationally that could be used with less harm to the local enviroment.
James Miller
Garden Creek Ranch


I oppose the bombing. It's a stupid thing to be doing in such a sensitive natural habitat.
Richard Bredsteen

The wilderness around the Hermitage should be a protected air space.

There is no comparable spot along the California coast. Please reconsider your proposal to have the jet fighter bombing range in this Big Sur area.
Kathleen Lang


Navy bombing practises in the Ventana Wilderness would be detrimental to the ecosystem. For instance the Santa Lucia Fir trees are found here, the only place on earth and almost half of all the native flowers of California grow in the Santa Lucias. I enjoy hiking in Ventana and plan to bring my two sons here when they are big enough to handle such a hiking adventure. My memories of past hikes are wonderful and I want to be able to create more, so please do not spoil this national treasure of ours
Suzanne Johnson
Santa Cruz, CA


Is another bombing range really needed? If so, surely a better place than the San Antonio Valley can be found. If I did not know that the Navy is deadly serious about this, I would think it was a bad joke. It is almost as if someone said, "Let's find a place that is so full of life, beauty, and natural history, that our bombs can have maximum destructive impact." We are intelligent and civilized enough to do better than this. We must have learned by now that it is a mistake to foul our own nest. It would be a senseless waste to use the San Antonio Valley as a bombing range. The flora, fauna, and geography that are unique to this special place in California should be preserved and treasured, not bombed into oblivion. Please do not carry through with plans to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley.

Thank you.
John E. Davison
Oakland, CA


The San Antonio Valley, known for its unique and marvelous biodiversity, should be treated with awe, respect, and every effort toward its preservation. I am horrified that the Navy would consider turning this pristine treasure into a bombing range. Please stop to consider the irreversible damage this military activity would inflict on this beautiful area. Thank you for helping to stop this threat from taking effect.
Joyce Stenberg
Irvine, CA


I have been traveling to the Hermitage in Big Sur for over 40 years and I do not want their sanctuary distrubed.
Mr. Michael T. Riggio
Claremont, Calif.


This proposal by the US Navy to train bombing jets over the Big Sur/San Antonio Valley area is simply unacceptable. The San Antonio Valley is a rare and precious wilderness reserve in our country that increasingly damages, depletes, and destroys its natural resources. This being the case, we cannot afford to damage the ecosystem of yet another large wilderness area.

Furthermore, this valley is host to a number of spiritual retreat centers, for whom silence is essential. Flying 3000 jet sorties over this area each year will certainly not improve the quality of religious life in the valley, nor will it help the countless retreatants who come from all over California to visit this centers. I hope that our Navy will take these factors into account and not procede with this proposal.
John Mercer
Paris, France

 It would be a travesty to place a bombing site in this pristine area • one of the most beautiful and ecologically rich in our country. please reconsider putting the bomb site somewhere else.
Margaret Joy Granger
San Luis obispo, CA

Please don't use the San Antonio Vally for a bombing range. It will reduce the value of the parks nearby
aidan Hosler
santa cruz ca



I believe it would be a tragedy of huge porportions to have this range in one of the most sensitive , scenic and sacred areas of this country and Calif. I live on the Central Coast and visit Big Sur often to experience the quiet beauty, spiritual centers where one can spend time in silence and contemplation. There is so little in the way of places that can dupliate the area that you propose to ruin with the noise that planes would interject into this .

My name: Judy Jones
San Luis Obispo,


Of all the bases closed you could find one to reopen that would not disturb the monks nor other residents of Big Sur. An enviornmental and socially-irresponsible act
Archbishop Louis Fair


This area is far to environmentally sensitive to seriously consider using it as a test center for bombing. Shame on you.
Tim Gill
Santa Barbara, CA


My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Big Sur, eighteen years ago.

We have tried to come back on a regular basis. There is no place like Big Sur in terms of beauty and tranquility. The idea of mock bombing runs over this pristine area is ludicrous and totally unacceptable. These things should be confined to unpopulated desert spaces, of which there is a wealth.
Lee Lefton
Santa Fe, New Mexico,

The area should be preserved and made available to the public, not decimated!
Sharon D. Blank
Santan Monica, CA


Destruction of this natural beauty is insane. Flying sorties over monasteries and retreats will destroy their purpose. Risking wildfires in an area where they are so difficult to fight is irresponsible. Whoever thought of this must have forgotten what and whom our military is supposed to be defending.

Any polititian who supports this reckless and irresponsible proposal does not represent me.
Michael Wiley
Aptos, CA





I have been following the controversy about the U.S. Navy's proposal to conduct test bombing at Ft. Hunter Liggett. Were you aware that the U.S. Army faced a similar dilemma in the 1990's? The Army opted to build a state of the art, virtual reality system so test bombing and tactical studies could be conducted in a laboratory instead of wasting fuel and disturbing the Ft. Hunter Liggett environment.

The project was called Pegasus and I was on the project team. The last I heard the Army had moved the system to Fort Hood, Texas and was updating it. A digitized, 3D database of Ft. Hunter Liggett was part of the system. Such an alternative might worth exploring.
Carol McCarthy
Pacific Grove, CA


Let me make my point by simply quoting the Los Angeles Times' article dated 2/24/01:

Navy officials defend the bombing plan as necessary for national security and say the flights will not disturb the area's sensitive flora and fauna...Nearly 3,000 sorties "sounds big, but it isn't when you put it into this context: Four flights a day of three F/A-18's each, which is 12 sorties a day five days a week...47 weeks a year," said Navy Cmdr. Charlie Gillman, a special projects officer with the Pacific Fleet.

Oh, I see. It sounds big, but it really isn't? Shame on you! Who are you trying to fool? Please go elsewhere for your 3,000 sorties!
Tracy Mazuer
Manhattan Beach, CA

This Navy plan is outragious! They must not do this! PLEASE DON'T!!
Dee Crroll
Santa Margarita, Ca.


I must add my objections to Navy's plans. Faced with growing intrusions from the north and south, it is imperitive to preserve any open, quiet, natural while they still exist. It was a blessing to have military scale back its activities in Hunter-Liggett and the de facto expansion of the wildlife habitat. I would be very surprised if such an opportunity will ever present itself again.
Craig Schieding
Seaside, CA


This idea is an outrage. The Big Sur and Ventana Wilderness is a treasure. Do not ruin it with jets flying overhead. I have been going to Big Sur every year since I have lived in California and would be extremely disturbed by the use of this pristine wilderness as a bombing range.
Dr. Michael R. Obarski
Pasadena, CA


Why here? The sound of jets carries. When Iraq was bombed, the wild life was scared out of their routines.

The navy can't be trusted. The sub is an example of that. Navy, Take your toys to Area 51, or to Edwards Air Force Base. Eagles are more important than Navy Egos.
Sharon Eckardt
Los Osos, Ca.


While the boys and girls of the US Navy certainly need a place to practice dropping bombs from their multi-million-dollar airplanes, the Ventana Wilderness area is one of the worst possible places for this activity.

In fact, the Navy's plan to turn this area into a bombing range is a nightmare, in that they will be ruining a major piece of California's heritage, a place where thousands (including my own family) go each year to enjoy this pristine wilderness and to get away from the stress and the noise of civilation.

We, and the generations who are to follow us, cannot afford to let the US Navy put the Ventana Wilderness, and all that it contains, at risk in any way.

The Navy's plan must not go forward!
Blake Cooper
Santa Cruz, CA


The Navy's plan, if implemented, would destroy the pristine serenity of one of the world's most beautiful areas. This must not happen! The Navy has to come to their sense, and stop this ludicrous project!
John Citrigno
Lockwood, CA


There is no valid reason to radically diminish one of the last remaining, natural preserves in California & the nation in order improve the accuracy of destruction on a planet where our ever increasing numbers are already suceeding in that dimension quite well - and without more accurate bombing runs. Our military is already the #1 source of destructive power and by a vast margin. I suggest the Navy make better use of their flight simulators and keep their afterburners out of our quiet back yards ...this opinion from a former Air Force (jet) Instructor Pilot. If there were a need for more rape, kill & plunder power, I'd be behind it, but face the facts - there simply isn't. This ill-considered, absurdly located extension of training should be best executed elsewhere. The plan makes as much sense as the $tarWars missile defense proposal. And to think my tax dollars pay to extend this simplistic madness. Whose interests are being served here?
Fred Kenyon
Bradley, CA


The proposed area is one of the last true natural stongholds in Monterey County. Not only will the proposed project desimate specific areas of the habitat, the noise and associated pollution will disturb all flora and fauna of the area, and the residents that have chosen to live in the area because it is clean, quiet, and beautiful. Residents who have paid good money for land and trusted the armed services and the local, state, and federal government to protect and preserve the natural treasures located on these lands.
Joseph Wyatt
Spaque Valley Road at Quail Run Lane


The San Antonio Valley is a beautiful piece of pristine natural resource. It's been enjoyed by many generations and has a great history.

Jeff Sanders
Montclair, CA


The sound of jet air craft in this area will, and already does, make a negitive impact on tourisim. the citizens of the U.S. come to Big Sur to hear the sounds of nature. They will not return if the sounds of jets destroy that experience.
Jonathan D. Hyland
Apple Pie Ridge
Big Sur, CA


It is important to maintain the peacefulness of this region. I use the area as a vacation and personal regrowth retreat.
Dori Middleman, M.D.
Merion, PA


As a Native Californian who spent nearly half my life visiting nearly every corner of our nation's third largest state, no words can express the ineptitude, in my judgment, of the United States Navy in its proposal to establish "a Navy practice ordnance training target area adjacent to an established high explosive Army training target area," in one of the unique topographical formations on the planet, the north central coast, "Big Sir" ecosystem.

The decision to expand the targeting capacity of the Stony Valley ground artillery range adjacent to Fort Hunter Liggett to include the proposed Doolittle Training Targeting Area suited for "precision bombing practice" sorties for the F/A-18 Hornet series, is exemplary of the contempt some LOCAL military commanders have in general, toward "keeping the peace while destroying the earth," presumably rationalized, in this instance, for the benefit of short-term protection of the vital (economic) interests of the U.S. through theatre efficiency of individualized military units, such as the elite air corps established at Fallon.

The U.S. Navy's own press release of November 28, 2000 announcing the required 45 day period for public comment regarding preparation of an Environment Assessment (EA), "in accordance with Section 102 (2) (c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR Parts 15OO-1508),"documents, primae facie, and meets all the minimal tests necessary under this Act and the Federal Code to establish legal foundation mitigating the national interest over local interest

The national interest, in this instance, is represented by the statutory interests of the U.S. Department of the Interior under the National Park Service (NPS), in the NPS' obligation to protect the environmental integrity of national forests and wilderness under its jurisdiction, including the Los Padres National Forest, and consideration of same in terms of education and influence, among those private lands adjacent to Federal management that have been maintained privately in a similar manner, such as that of the Hearst Corporation and other private ranches and lands, or of the State of California and its subordinate political subdivisions such as Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, among others.

The local interests are represented therein by the U.S. Department of Defense and its subordinate office, the Department of the Navy and its subordinate jurisdiction, the Naval Air Stations Fallon and Lemoor.

Under the NEPA, to supersede the national interest, the local interest would have to show how the particular circumstances of its cause would have a mitigating effect in providing a sufficient basis strategic to other circumstances likewise representative of the national interest, i.e., "national defense."

According to the NAS Fallon Press Release, this interest is described as: "(t)he establishment of an air to ground target area at Fort Hunter Liggett would enable the Naval Strike Fighter Wing at NAS Lemoore to more efficiently meet mandated Navy tactical aviation training objectives."

This statement erroneously elevates an admitted local interest ("enable the Naval Strike Fighter Wing at NAS Lemoore to more efficiently meet….") to the level of national interest ("…mandated Navy tactical aviation training objectives)" when a clear, substantive, unencumbered and absolute alternative to "meet(ing such) efficiency" is warranted, in this instance, by maintenance of the status quo with respect to utilization of the continued expenditure of fuel, time and resource personnel at NAS Fallon rather than "transference" of same to NAS Lemoore.

Such transference does NOT serve the "national defenses interests of the United States," as no vital strategic interests have been identified by the U.S. Navy other than "efficiency," in the local setting.

In juxtaposing the local interests of the NASFallon/NASLemoor held through the Department of the Navy with the Department of Defense, with those of the national interests of the National Park Service through the Department of the Interior under the EA prerequisites of the NEPA and 40 CFR Parts 15OO-1508 of the United States Code, the national interest, as defined by the NAS Fallon Press Release of November 28, 2000 in documenting: Mission San Antonio de Padua is in the cantonment area and occupies approximately 105 acres, including the mission, residences for clergy, a cemetery, and outbuildings (see attached map). The mission is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and is owned by the Monterey Diocese of the Catholic Church and the Franciscan Order.

A variety of native habitat types can be found throughout Fort Hunter Liggett. The valley and lower foothill areas of Fort Hunter Liggett are characterized by annual and native grasslands, chaparral and oak woodlands, riparian areas, and various water habitats including vernal pools, stock ponds and reservoirs.

The mountainous region of Fort Hunter Liggett includes conifer forest, oak woodland, chaparral, and prominent rock outcroppings. Fort Hunter Liggett also has a diverse cultural heritage, evidenced by numerous military era and cultural landscape features.

clearly outweighs the local interest, again defined as: "The establishment of an air to ground target area at Fort Hunter Liggett would enable the Naval Strike Fighter Wing at NAS Lemoore to more efficiently meet mandated Navy tactical aviation training objectives."

Thereupon, the EA must, as its first document, include the NAS Fallon Press Release of November 28, 2000, along with this letter in response, as an acknowledgment of the U.S. Navy's own complicity in documenting the environmental national interest over the military local interest, and come to the only conclusion possible, that the U.S. Navy itself recognizes the fallaciousness of its own proposal, and recommend the greater impact in favor of the national interest.

I expect a timely answer with respect to the concerns addressed in this letter from senior commanding officials of the NAS Fallon.
richard chilton (non-tribal member)
*Rosalie UnoNhoN (Omaha) Nation*


There is too much at risk to allow this. As it is you can hear tank shooting pratice at Hearst Castle. Don't allow the Navy to add to this.
Dennis St.Ores
Freedom CA


As an environmental biologist that works in Big Sur, I urge to forego this plan. I am is support of the military in general, but this specific plan will only disrupt sensitive habitats.
Bryn Phillips

The contemplative experience provided by the pristine setting of Big Sur and the Esalen Institute constitute a national resource that is comparable to national security concerns that might be satisfied by practice bombing activities. Remember that the greatest loss of civilian lives in the U.S. lately occurred when the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building was committed by a disgruntled and angry patriot. Don't destroy one of the nation's proprietary institutes (Esalen)that contributes to so many people's personal growth and the cause of world peace.
Paul C. Abney
Denton, TX


There are so few places left in our country where one can enjoy peace and solitude. I urge you to reconsider your plans for establishing a bombing range in the San Antonio Valley.
Rebekah Perron
Kansas City, MO


This is pristine land for all Americans. We have a right to keep it that way. My family and friends and I hike in Big Sur often and love it. PLEASE DO

Kathleen M. Miller Thomas
Boulder Creek CA


With all of the federally-owned land in eastern California, Nevada, New Mexico, etc, I would think that you could find a much less sensitive place to be doing this. You still have not explained to the public (as far as I know) what is so strategically critical about this valley that practice bombing missions could't be accomplished elsewhere. You had to know that you would run into a firestorm of popular opposition to this plan. Why put the

Navy up to all this grief, anyway?
Doug Pocius
Sunnyvale, CA


What could the Navy be thinking! I hate bombing anywhere, but if they must do it, let them do it in a barren stretch of desert.
Carol Reising
Tuolumne CA


Big Sur without silence is like a cathedral without silence, and is like a plane without a pilot.

Please read Wallace Stegner's short essay: The Wilderness Idea.

Please conduct and EIS on the impact on Big Sur of the bombing range.
Mark Nicolson
Woodside CA


This unique area is a refuge which is accessible to many people as a sanctuary from the stresses of everyday life. It would be a criminal act to compromise this
John Smith
Mountain View


Your plan to dramatically increase training exercises in the San Antonio Valley will generate enormous bad will among the politically active citizens of California. This is a serious miscalculation and I strongly encourage you to reassess your plans.
Chris M. Bache, Ph.D.
Novato, CA


The Big Sur wilderness area should be protected not bombed.

Endangered species are present in the region. Surely, there must be another, more desolate location to use for target practice. I am strongly opposed to the proposal.
Diane Kort
Palo Alto, CA


Leave beautiful big Sur alone. There must be a better place to do what needs to be done.
Gene & Anne Ayers
Mt Plymouth, FL

There goes government again, spending millions of dollars to save the condor and then sending bombers in to eradicate its habitat. This section of California's coastline is already violated enough and to destroy additional areas is ludicrous. It saddens me to know that my tax dollars are being spent as wastefully as this when other more vital services could benefit. In this day and age of technology, there must be another way and I urge you to take the time to investigate alternatives. As a registered Republican I am saddened that, though defense taining is certainly necessary, we must always look to the pristine places and exploit them to destruction.
Clare R.,
Saratoga, CA



Big Sur, The Ventana Wilderness and San Antonio Valley are some of the most beautiful areas of this entire planet!Yes, this land should be protected and ordained an ecological reserve. Fighter Jets screaming above and dropping fake bombs is a ridiculous notion. Leave Nature to its higher calling.
Steve Starosta
Los Angeles, California


Any gains the navy may make in bombing accuracy - hence, the ability to kill and maim greater numbers of human beings more efficiently will be far offset by the amount of adverse publicity accrued by the US Navy, and subsequently the entire armed forces and defense intrastructure of our country.

Please rethink this plan. Then think again. Then don't do it. Thank you.
Donald L Mayhew, PhD
Los Angeles, CA

You are bombing one of my favorite places in the world. I am visiting home from a 3 year residence in Europe to find this happening. I watch military filtered News from AFN and not heard this mentioned at all. Please don't act on these missions. You are truly disappointing me, destroying my former and hopefully future playground.
Jennifer Ratliff

The military already has several bombing ranges in the western U.S. that may accompdate navy traianing goals. The possiblity of utilizing these other locations should be explored in depth before opening a new range. If there are hardships to be borne (e.g., naval pilots who have extended TDY in other states away from their families) or expenses for the Navy (e.g., construction of new facilities near these other ranges, etc.)we should be willing to look at these as short term costs that do not outweigh the loss of beautiful costal areas for decades or centuries. As the dependent of a career Army officer, I know there is a need for training but considerations require serious consideration and public input.
Arthur F. Hurtado
San Bernardino, CA


Too many interests converge on this piece of land for it to serve as a legitimate option for naval jet fighter training. Archaeological sites are an exhaustible resource. They can never be reconstituted if destroyed, and naval activity will remove them from the strategic plans of archaeologists. Native American lands have been abused enough already. The ecological systems there are precious to California. This land is part of one of the most beautiful and publically enjoyed areas of California. What more reasons could one have? Designating this area as a naval training area violates our national interest in historical resources, the interests of the Native Americans, the interests of the overburdened eco-system of California, and the interests of public enjoyment of our remaining natural lands.
Mike Phelps
Claremont, CA


Forgive me if I am speaking to you from outside the district, so to speak, but I often visit the Santa Lucias from San Francisco.

I'm sorry, too, if this has been said before, but this idea of using a piece of Hunter Liggett as a bombing range defies reason. The danger in permanently damaging the area's natural beauty and the potential of destroying the area's historically significant features far outweighs any benefit the Navy could gain in using this area as a bombing range.

I strongly oppose the use of the San Antonio Valley as a bombing range.
Lawrence Cafiero
San Francisco, CA

Is nothing sacred anymore? Iam a very proud Salinan woman who is very concerned about what is happening to our homeland .This proposal will have devestating effects if it is passed. As a indigenous person we have been given extra responability to preserve and protect our ancestral lands. I hope my fellow brothers and sisters will come together and fight this important fight for our future of our sacred lands.
Tina Shaffer
King City Ca

There are other areas less pristine that would be suitable for spots for war practice.
Judy Morgan
Burbank CA

If they need to fly, military training flights should to be confined to areas where there is no wildlife nor humans affected in any way.
Peter Beckmann
Santa Cruz


I've passed through this area many times. Not only has the beauty awed me, but I've been blessed to see an abundance of wildlife. It would be a shame to see the natural habitat destroyed by jet fighter bombing.

Take your family there. I'm sure you'll enjoy the scenic views and serenity this place emits.
Marcy Edwards


Who thought this one up? I'm phoning first thing on Monday.Please everyone, let our elected officials know how outrageous this illogical plan would be.
Mary Fabian
South San Francisco


The Big Sur wilderness area is a tremendous natural resource to the Nation. Its flora, fauna, and environment are precious treasures, ones that all of us need to work to protect. Endangered species such as condors and our national bird the Bald Eagle have established habitats in the region, and migrating animals make use of the area on their way up and down the Pacific Coast. Moreover, the area is a source of spiritual renewal to thousands of hikers, backpackers, retreatants, and others. It would be a tremendous shame and a needless waste of natural resources if you were to proceed with your plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range here. I am most strongly opposed to the proposal.
Philip McManus
Santa Cruz, CA


We desperately need to keep the balance of Nature in tact. Killing our raptors and other wildlife animals/plants is not in our best interest.

Isn't there a barren area that could serve to fulfill your program and keep our wildlife alive? Destroying our animals, birds etc. is not acceptable from my point of view. I'm working with the preservation of wildlife and not its destruction. Please let God's plan survive and not destroy this beautiful area which was created for a safe haven for God's creatures - and ours.
Wanda M. Saxton
San Jose, CA


I am of the strong opinion that the Armed Forces have access to enough of the nation's resources to get their work done. Today, our main priorities should be peace and responsible stewardship of our resources.

Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness are prime symbols of our nation's natural resources and beauty. If the Navy must train more bomber pilots, please work in the desert where life is less diverse.

Wilderness is a potent symbol for America. There is no necessity in this day and age for the Navy to leave their mark on one of the world's great wonders.

By the way, the "Carmel Pine Cone" needs to vet their hawkish editorial writers.
Darroch Greer


As our world attempts to become more peaceful, that we should not carry out military exercises in the vicinity of institutions which have dedicated themselves to peace. It is sad and unthinkable that such exercises would happen, and it makes me ashamed to be a citizen of this country which tries too much to advance goals through military means and not through open dialogue.
Christopher Eberhardt
Los Angeles

Although we live 3000 miles away, we all have a stake in the futureof sites such as the San Antonio Valley. Please preserve it.
Lynn B. Aber
Durham, NH

it is necessary topreserve in this country at this time a contempletive refuge in which lives may be offered to God to do the work of contempletive prayer that the rest of us cannot.
francis puchino
newtown, pa


There are many, many barren mountainous areas in eastern California and Nevada, etc in which the Navy can carry out their bombing evercises. Why destroy such a beautiful area. Are their political considerations being made here? I can only guess that if the Navy carries out their proposed plans for this area it will "stink to high heaven" and some very hard questions will be asked!
William O'Connor
New York, N.Y.



After reading in this morning's paper about the outrageous destruction by the Taliban of the Great Buddhas of Bamiyan, it occurred to me that our own Navy's plans to bomb in the San Antonio Valley is just as shameful.
Robert Huitt
Vice Mayor, Pacific Grove


This proposal is inconsequential to the overall military readiness of the United States. As an avid backpacker of the California coastal areas as well as inland mountains, I can assure you that the environment cannot withstand this kind of land misuse, as I have seen firsthand what a fewcareless people can do to an area, let alone a formal bombing range.

Please, do not go down this one-way street.
Steve Chilstrom
Fontana Ca


Dear all parties concerned here. I have been throughout this area in my youth and have great memories of its beauty and serenity of nature, and find it totally out of the question to literally destroy a heritage portion of California and it's attributes for unnecessary target practice. I feel that you should return to the areas that you have already destroyed and redestroy those locations if you must. I spent part of my Military career in munition distribution and witnessed over and over the excessive over uses of qualifying and (so called extra ammunition) wasted for no reason. Please DON'T do this.

Thanks for letting those of us, who care, lend the decision to not do this.
R.L. Englund
Paradise, CA


To think we are calling it a bombing range within miles of monks,endangered species,missions and peaceable homes. . This conjures up visions of of demented craziness as best exemplfied by the film "Dr. Strangelove" and by my experience at SAC bases in England when any ruffle by the "Russkies" led to unorganized chaos by the military. Admit it,guys...You need to go back to basic Taoist management pracices e g manage (or rule) for the social good. The film and the incident in Hawaii suggest bad karma is at hand and you dont want the monks sided against you. Remember that in many countries monks ARE IN CHARGE. It doesnt look like that in our confused society, but be careful, you could face an avenging God, or angry citizens, THE CHURCH,condors and lawsuits. THAT'S TOO MUCH to fight. Listen Up!
J C McKellar
Santa Cruz,Ca

If bombing is in fact necessary to the US military, surely both the government and the citizens can together agree on a more appropriate location.
Fay Botham
Glendale, CA


I urge you not to proceed with the proposal.
David Jackson
Upland, CA

Please do not proceed with the bombing range plans in the San Antonio Valley.
Karen Hoffman
Berkeley, CA

Please don't noise pollute this beautiful environment. Our family oftencamps at Indians and know that the noise will be disuurbing to man and beasts.
amber jayanti and family of 4
Soquel, Ca. 95


The Navy does not need to flex anymore muscles or waste anymore of the tax payers' money by bombing such an incredibly beautiful area. I understand the need for the military, but a little thought as to what the long term consequences of their actions might be is necessary. There's no need to show nature how big your missiles are.
Sophie Yu
Fullerton, CA


Such use of the land in such a pristine area is entirely uncalled for and completely outside the bounds of reason in a post-Cold War era.
John W. Woell
Claremont, CA


This is a case of taking paradise and turning it into a bombing range to paraphrase a popular song. What is the Navy for if not to preserve our beautiful country and what good would it do to destroy part of its richness in some misguided attempt to practice skills that will in the end destroy that which we are trying to preserve? All things are connected and we must begin to see that what we do to one area touches everything else. It is a 90 degree turn in attitude that is needed to start to solve our problems in different ways. We've got to stop looking to violence to give us security. Security is the child of justice and the sooner we address matters of justice in our national andinternational life as a nation the sooner we will have security.
Joyce Westergaard
Sacramento, Ca

The Big Sur is a unique area in the world because of its beauty, serenity and history as a sacred place to go for healing and rejunivation.

In this regard it is an important part of American heritage, and one of the special places in this country that we all, including the military, should try to maintain for future generations.
Phillip Fleishman
Sausalito, California


U.S Congressman Sam Farr has come out very strongly opposed to the Navy's plans to use FHL for fighter attack jet training and bombing practice. And I strongly support Congressman Farr's opposition, and his position that anything short of an independently conducted FULL EIR constitutes a violation of NEPA. Basically, the Navy is breaking the law, if they are allowed to simply push this through only with their own military contract EA.

In addition, as I have a ranch in Lockwood, only 15 miles from the proposed target area in Stony Valley, I can say with certainty that the Navy's claim that "we will not HEAR their jets, they won't be disruptive" is a complete and TOTAL LIE!

I was at my ranch Friday, March 2nd at 8:30 AM when just two F/A-18 Hornets flew over at an altitude of 14,000 feet. It was cloudy and raining, so apparently they couldn't come any lower that morning, another reason they should stay in Nevada with 353 sunny, clear days a year, rather than move these jets here!

The NOISE these two jets made was "DEAFENING". In fact, it is downright frightening. It cannot be ingnored or "blocked out". These fighter attack jets are MUCH LOUDER than commercial aircraft, which fly above 28,000 feet! Ever see (hear) the "Blue Angels". Then you'll get what I mean.

I can't imagine the peace and serenity of such a beautiful area as Stony Valley, the San Antonio River Valley (in which Lockwood is located and my ranch) and the surrounding Ventana Wildernes and Big Sur areas being disturbed by the flights planned four (4) times per day, five (5) days per week, forty-seven (47) days per year, at speeds up to 500 MPH, and altitudes ranging 500 ft. to 8,700 ft during their 8-12 "practice loops" over the area!

The NOISE will destroy the peaceful serenity of the area, ruin the human experience in this Central Coastal California paradise, and threaten endangered species there, such as the California Condor and Bald Eagle.

As such, this matter deserves a full Environmental Impact Report, not just the Navy's own Environmental Assessment as currently planned. Anything less than a complete EIR would violate our rights under NEPA.

With all the vacant remote military base land throughout the United States, I would assume the Navy could find a more desolate area in which to train and drop their "bombs".

Our environment and way of life is what we hope the military will always protect and fight for, not destroy it in the name of preparation.

And by the way... where are all the other politicians on this? We have NOT heard from Gov. Davis, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Diane Feinstein, Rep. Simon Salinas, State Sen. Bruce McPhersen, our Mayors, and others...

And what about the television news media? "60 Minutes" should do a segment on this, immediately!

Let's wake these people up to the travesty threatening one of our most valuable and irreplaceable natural assets!
John Citrigno
Lockwood Ranch


This proposal will have a major negative impact not just on the San Antonio Valley but also on the coast side of the Santa Lucia Mountians and the Ventana Wilderness Area. Just the noise alone will destroy the value of the public domain in these regions. I've been at the summit on the road from the coast to Hunter-Liggett when jets have swooped over the treetops. It may be fun for the pilots, but it wreaks havoc on the ground. Surely, there must be a better site. Will this proposal be subject to NEPA review? This idea would be very bad public policy and a very bad use of public money. It is a blatant conflict with an existing public recreationarea. As a taxpayer, I strongly object to the proposal.
Dan deGrassi
Santa Cruz, CA


There are better and cheaper ways for our armed forces to be trained. With current generation computer video technologies, bombing simulators similar to flight simulators can be developed for bombing practice. We do not haver to sacrafice our heritage and envirnoment tothis misguided method of training.
Linda Turnquist
Davis, California

This is a ridiculous waste to destroy such beautiful land. I, as a taxpayer am dead set against further defense spending or activities,especially those that would destroy beautiful land in Big sur!!!
Marc Geiger
los angeles, Ca


Why affect such a beautiful environment in this way. I expect greater concern and responsibility from the Navy and all individuals to keep this wonderous place as is.
Cindy Long
Sacramento, CA


Bombing practice is not necessary since training can be done viacomputer simulation. It is also wrong to disturb a fragile habitat such as the San Antonio Valley.
Lisa Warns
Pacifica, CA
Please consider the lifestlyes of the land, spieces, and even cultures, before bombing Big Sur. We can't afford to loss yet another beautiful area to the greed of power. Please preserve this preciuos area that offers the education of our own exsistens. Don't let this become another area of devistation and resentment. Once again I plead that the Big Sur area will remain prestine so that one day I can see it for all that it has to offer. Thank you!!!
Sincerly A Concerned Student...


Using the San Antonio Valley for bombing practice is unconscionable and immoral and the plans should cease and desist immediately. Rather, this sacred land should be conserved as a national treasure and not one stone should be over turned.

Please do not disturb this beautiful ecosystem, and allow the monks to pray in peace. The healing must begin today.
Debi Lorenc
San Jose, CA

Fort Hunter Ligett should be converted into the park and ecological center as is being proposed. It certainly should not be part of a bomb practice run over the Big Sur wilderness and New Camaldoli Hermitage--that would be a disaster.
Rev. Robert Hale
Incarnation Monastery
Berkeley, CA

The proposed plan will cause significant disturbances to the natural and cultural resources in the area, and alternatives need to be pursued to find a plan that will not have as many harmful effects on the wildlife, natural environment and human activity in the area.
Catherine J. Warner
Boulder Creek, CA


It would be a gross mishandling of the beauty of the earth to conduct Navy operations in such proximity to Big Sur.
Mary Streufert
Claremont, CA


I read about the Navy's proposal to use sites in the San Antonio Valley in the LA Times on Saturday February 24th. That I was surprised is an understatement.

In a time when very few serious military threats exist in the world and in a time when even the pro-military Bush Administration is proposing a full-scale evaluation of military operations and spending, this proposal appears reckless at best and a graphic demonstration of the addictive nature of militarism.

I encourage and support any and all efforts on your part to oppose this project.

Thank you for considering this request.
Tom Webb
St. Agnes Church
Los Angeles, CA


Ft. Hunter Liggett contains perhaps THE largest remaining contiguous stand of oak savannah in California. With Sudden Oak Death spreading at an alarming rate, we need to protect all our oak woodlands.

This area is also home to beautiful displays of wildflowers every spring, as well as bobcats, woodpeckers, magpies, and other creatures which I myself have had the honor to see.

It also contains intact riparian habitat with graceful old sycamore trees, which are becoming rare as we channelize and levy all our waterways in California.

PLEASE help protect this incredibly beautiful, breath-taking area.
Janell Hillman
Santa Cruz Ca


This part of California -- indeed this part of the world -- is an international treasure and simply cannot be compromised by our government's folly.
Staci Haynes
Los Angeles


For thirty years I have made an annual retreat in Big Sur. It is a source of tremendous spitual renewal for me. This is the only place if know of where the forces of nature have such a profuound effect on my soul. It would be devistating to have such an exceptional place of profound natural character fractured by the sound of aircraft. I urge you to consider the special significance of this sacred place on this planet.
Michael Stusser
Sebastopol, CA


This concern is due to the unique natural resources, habitat and experience available in the Big Sur area. It is a national and statewide treasure that should not be spoiled with noise pollution or otehr gross impacts. I urge you not to proceed, and at the very least pursue the complete California Environmental Review process (including public notices and input) that any other non-federal project, major or minor, must go through here to ensure that all stakeholders' issues (incluing the local community and the environment) can be addressed.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Kirsten Liske
Santa Cruz, CA

Why do this and ruin another beautiful area...what is the problem with using the desert...China Lake?
Emma Jacobs
Carrollton, MO

I have to beg you not to establish this jet fighter bombing range. It would be a dis-service to the nation to use this land in that way. There are few places left where people can go and see an area that is un-touched by development. I can understand that there needs to be a place for this kind of activity that is less populated. I can not believe that there are no other alternatives. We need to leave this area alone. It provides a service far greater to the nation than a bombing range would provide. I have spent time on retreat at the New Camadoli Hermitage. The experience was unbelievable. I see it as a necessary part of my life to continue to go there and escape the hectic stressful life we all live. I know that people from all over the nation and from all over the world come to the hermitage for retreat.

Please don't upset that wonderful area. How can anyone experience peace and "recharge our batteries" with jet fighters and bombs? Don't get me wrong, I love watching the jets, and I understand the protection that they provide our country. I just can't see that using this land for that purpose is the right thing to do.

Let us show the world that we are not a wasteful nation by not destroying the natural history and peace that this land gives us.
Peggy Bariteau
San Jose, CA


Please do not use the San Antonio Valley for high-profile military activity, including bombing, exersizes, flyby's, or detonations. Asside from the irreparable environmental damage that will occur due to noise, fire and explosive damage, you will potentially have one of the biggest civil disobediance events on your hands to have occured in Northern California since the beginning of the ongoing Headwaters struggle. I know the people of my state. They will not stand for this. Please re-prioritise your testing needs. This is not the place to test weapons and guidance systems.
Keith Spear
Santa Cruz, CA


I have been a visitor to Big Sur for over 40 years and consider it one of the most important natural resources and spiritual places in California. The notion of bombing it with smoke charges is irresponsible and defies all consideration for the value of this land. It's remoteness is likely a reason for the proposal but its remoteness is exactly one of the reasons for preserving it uniqueness. I strongly urge you to reconsider and find other means to accomplish your goals.
Ken Lerch
El Cerrito, CA


I would like to add my opinion to the hundreds that you have already received protesting the plan to construct a jet fighter bombing range in Stony Valley of San Antionio Valley. This bombing range would do irreperable damage to both coastal and interior portions of the Coastal Range. This area is one of the great treasures of our State.

Please immediately give up any plans that you have to establish a bombing range in this area.

Robert E. Gips
Ventura, CA

Please do NOT create a bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. This is an area of great beauty, archeological preservation, and wilderness habitat. None of this should be destroyed! This plan has clearly not been thought out adequately. The devastation that will result can never be undone. PLEASE drop this plan.
Karen Brown Davison
Oakland, CA

It is a sacrilege to destroy nature as you intend to. Pick one of the desolate areas that abound in this country, not one that is inhabited and sacred, not just to Monks, but Native Americans as well.
Stephen M. D'Alessio
Bayonne, NJ


Considering the unique history of this area of California, its diverse and unique flora and fauna and especially its spirtual centers with their rich resources for contemplation, I think that the Navy's plan is ill-conceived and will unforseen impact on this area. Respectfully,
Professor Charles Fasanaro
St. John's College Santa Fe, NM


There must be hundreds of other places that would be more suitable for this project. Why would the Navy want to participate in the irreversible spoiling of one of the most pristine places on earth? Sites such as these are dwindling as it is -- and neither the Navy nor anyone else can predict the long-term harmful effects this will cause for the ecosystem and biodiversity of the area ... not to mention the utterdestruction of a peaceful place of spirituality. Not many of those left either.
Kate Kase
Seabrook, Maryland


We all need places to go that remind us of how close we are to nature and how glorious our small place in natures grand design is.Let's not forget that might doesn't make right and forcing this kind of activity on an area that is a wonderful resource for it's inhabitants and visitors is not a smart move. It's hard to believe this is being considered. This incredible area is between 2 major cities and is there for anyone to visit. It's not exotic and it doesn't cost alot to get to. We the people don't need it as much as we need this area to remain tranquil and protected from military intervention.
diane baldwin
los angeles


My family and I were completely appalled when we read in the Los Angeles Times last Saturday February 24, about the planned bombing range at Fort Hunter Liggett, in close proximity of the Los Padres National Forest.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the last untouched areas between the Pacific Ocean and Highway 101, an area that supports a large number of wildlife.

Aside from substantial noise pollution, there is also a persistent danger of stray objects hitting people, property and natural resources. Furthermore, a much wider area would be affected due to "mistaken target areas."

Can you imagine having a picnic at the beach outside the proposed area, and hearing the disgusting interruption of low-flying aircraft practicing BOMBING?!

The noise, the traffic and the resulting damage? How would we all react?

Here it is peacetime and suddenly we have large numbers of low flying aircraft practicing bombing runs in our neighborhood? Are you aware of the public outcry if that would happen? Did you ever personally drive Nacimiento road and experience this incredible journey? Have you ever walked along the winding road and appreciated the cool trickling stream below, the soft lush moss under your toes and the hawks and eagles soaring overhead? Then, you turn the last corner driving East to West and suddenly the expansive Pacific Ocean looms dramatically in full view? Did you ever visit San Antonio Mission? Have you ever listened to the quiet? Are you at all familiar with what you are talking about?

This country is large enough and there are enough desert areas, where such maneuvers, if they must occur, should be exercised. Highway One in our Golden State of California is a precious and unique area and should not be tampered with.
Michael W. Myer and FAMILY
Los Angeles, CA

This is one of the most pristine natural areas remaining in California, a place where wild condors are released. Bombs and jets daily will make it a war zone -- Don't do it! If you don't bomb people you won't have to practice bombing either. THink about it.
Ellen ALdridge
Santa Cruz CA


The San Antonio Valley has got to be one of the least appropriate places imaginable for dropping bombs. The Navy can surely do better than to ruin one of the very nicest places left on the west coast.
Steve Pedersen
Petaluma Ca


Have respect for this gift we cherish - land, forest, sea, and air. Leave the sound to the sea and birds - Leave us this gift from God - Please
Colleen Cortese
San Jose, Ca.





Mark Feldman
Santa Rosa, Ca

You should find another site
Ms. Orley Morgan
Walnut Creek Ca


The last time I passed through Hunter Liggett was by way of

Naciamento Road from Big Sur after the fires two years ago. Even though Nature had its way, devestating thousands of acres, at least all those burn-scarred hills can renew themselves.

But the hand of man is a different story. I lived at the Hermitage during the late 80's and I recall the fly-bys while I was in residence. Some were so low over the property you could actually see the pilot in the cockpit. I don't suspect that the Navy's current plan, as rational and as necessary as it appears proposed will stop these Top Gun types from hot-dogging over Cone Peak.

Who knows what could go wrong. But rest assured something inevitably will, if the navy is allowed to go forward with their plans. Please, stop this absurdity.

As someone else has already observed, would you practice bomb runs over Yosemite? Well, what's the difference? Big Sur and the Santa Lucia Mountains ecosystem-watershed are a national as well as planetary treasure. Perhaps the Navy would do well to consider the difference between a bull's eye and the preservation of our national heritage.
James Andrew LaSpina, Ph.D.
Tarzana, CA


This an outrageous example of insensitivity to native American heritage and to the truly glorious Big Sur region. No, no, no
Ann Lievers
Escondido, Ca.


How can we condone bombing in such a rich natural and spiritual place that is valued by so many of us? This would be an atrocity.
ceinwen carney
berkeley, ca


Please do not go forward with this terrible plan. I am a fourth-generation Northern Californian, born in Camp Roberts (the Army base at Paso Robles). I now live in San Francisco, where I am subjected every year to the incredible noise of the Blue Angels practicing and then performing for Fleet Week. They fly right over my building, and the last few years I've had to leave home because I can't take the assault on my senses. These are the same type of planes that would be used on the proposed bombing practice runs. Why ruin one of the few remaining preserves we have just to save a little money? There is little to be gained, and so much to be lost.
Marlene Arnese
San Francisco, CA


I do not favor the idea of a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. Too much land has been laid to waste by the government in the past. Cleanup after the fact is proving to be imposssible.

The financial saving to the military to use this area does not equate with the loss of the beauty and tranquility of the land. bombing there please.
Luane Vidak
Watsonville, Ca.



This is the ancestral home of the Salinan Indians, and has 300 certified archaeological sites. The cultural history of this area is extraordinary. The Stony Valley is the homeland of the Salinan Nation dating back over 10,000 years and deserves to be respected as a homeland. This area should not be used by the Navy for bombing practice.
M Shires
Oakland, Ca

Much more consideration and thought should be given to the ecological impact the proposal would have on the San Antonio Valley, its unique landscape and surrounding community. Please listen to the thousands of residents whose strongly held views outline better than I the shortcomings with the current proposal. Thank you.
John Trasvina
Washington DC

This plan is a total disaster to the environment and i am strongly opposed to the plan. Go somewhere else to waste our money on the bombs.
Lawrence Loo
Pasadena, CA


This plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range within earshot--and I use that word specifically--of this rare stretch of pristine and vital coastal ecosystem is a travesty. I have gone camping in the Big Sur area and heard military jets off the coast, although I was unable to see them through the coastal fog. To say that they ruined my experience of nature that morning and afternoon is an understatement. Nothing could be more incongruous in that lovely setting than the roar of afterburners. Please consider confining the Navy's activities to its own designated bases, and do not infringe on the sanctity of OUR public lands.
David Weisman
Morro Bay CA




In a world of pollution, overpopulation, and traffic jams how can anyone concievably take a sacred, precious, irreplacable land and ruin it?

I live in Santa Cruz, a paradise which is now incredibly difficult to find a place to live (that is affordable). The Big Sur area is the closest beautiful and quiet place to escape to.

How can you feel that what you are doing is worth killing a geological haven and a place unlike any other in the world?

Undeveloped land has unfortunately become a rare commodity, one that cannot be restored, please with whatever compassion you can find deep with in yourself DO NOT bomb Big Sur. It is easy to ignore that which does not directly effect us, but if you had the courage to see this unforgetable coast yourself, at least you coud honestly say that you know what you are about to kill.

Perhaps if you looked at the land you are about to destroy you would resend this horrifying proposal. If you stood on the edge of the forest cliff, stared out across breath taking ocean and felt the pulse of the earth pump through you, maybe then you could touch the fear and pain that this bombing proposition pangs screeching into the hearts of those who know Big Sur's mystery, quiet, and life. If you do this bombing, say Goodbye, because you'll destroy our hope and leave us in empty desolation.
Peggy Card
Santa Cruz, Ca

I think that if the navy is getting slammed for bombing ranges in other places why should they be allowed to do this in the US. I hope that the american people stop this from happening. Pick one of the hundred of other sites that are all ready destroyed by the military. Ft. Irwin or the attolas. I understand the need for such bombing runs but know that there are other facalites availiabe.
albert miranda
Yorba linda ca,

It would be unconscionable for the natural beauty and serenity of Big Sur and the San Antonio Valley to be disturbed in such a profound manner. Were the Navy to send its families to visit this area even for just a day, I believe it would not be able to proceed with the proposed bombing training site due to a hue and cry from within its own ranks. I strongly urge the US Navy to reconsider this proposal.
Grace Midori Lee
Torrance CA

I think that using this lovely area for bombing practice is both unnecessary and awful. I strongly oppose your plans to do this. There are so many other areas where this could be done without any loss to anyone. For example, the Pennsylvania Avenue area of Washington, D.C. Or property that HUD is going to bulldoze anyway. No, seriously, I think you can easily come up with more appropriate areas than this. Use your heads! If you want my votes and my support, don't be naughty. I'm watching. You hear?
Mike Spinak
Coastal California


I have spent time in peaceful reflection at the hermitage in Lucia and have spent much time walking in the surrounding wilderness. It has always been and should remain a place of peace and sanity in a world too full of noise and confusion. The thought of disturbing this area by making it into a flight path for bomb practice is abhorrent. Please add my name to the list of people who protest this action.
Jade Taylor
Santa Cruz, CA

My family and I have visited the San Antonio Valley for the body and soul nourishments provided by this area of vast beauty and ecological significance. Its geographical, botanical, biological, and historical significance are also important. Each is threatened immeasurably by the military bombing range plan. Please put a stop to this plan immediately. It is WRONG!
Sarah A. Conn
Center for Psychology and Social Change
Cambridge, MA


As a registered voter, I am not willing to stand by and see the beauty and peace of big sur destroyed. Keep bombing in established ranges, but leave Big Sur Alone. Do this for the people, wildlife and the state.
Whitney Meiklejohn Pate

Every U.S.Navy person who will decide this action should first make a three day retreat at the Camaldolese Monastery of other place of prayer or meditation.
Adolph D. Anderson
Aptos, CA

I feel the environment should be honored. This area is sacred to many peoples and animals. Please respect our planet.
Sally Clark
Mountain View, Ca.



The San Antonio Valley is a valuable natural habitat. I urge the Navy not to proceed with there plan to damage the biodiversity of this region with their proposed bombing range.
Clinton Combs
Claremont, CA


This is a horrific idea. Big Sur, Esalen and the surrounding area are large preserves of natural beauty and a unique habitat. The Navy's choice is shortsighted, disrespectful in the extreme, and ignorant. Yes, you can quote me.
Stephanie Seery


There are fewer and fewer natural beauties in this world due to overcrowding, pollution, etc. I wish you would leave these beautiful, natural wonders for people to enjoy; for people to escape from the rest of the industrialized world.

Thank you and God bless you.
Gail Sasao
San Dimas, CA


It is inconceivable to me that that our priceless natural heritage should be threatened by our own Navy in peacetime. Please do not destroy that which the Navy has fought so well to preserve in past conflicts with America's enemies. If in the process of practicing for future conflicts you destroy the land you are defending, our enemies have already won. This is not the legacy of the United States Navy.
Gloria Serpa
Hayward, CA


The implementation of a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley region would be a crime against nature and California. Big Sur and the surrounding coastline are a staple of Californias bio-diversity and beauuty. To allow the NAvy to trample this area for military reasons would be a shame as well as a disappointment to me and others whom care about our beautiful state.
Ryan Wunsch
San Diego, Ca.


How can we who have been given the awesome responsibility of protecting the resources of our planet consider, even for a moment, the destruction of such a magnificent, pristine area of our state and nation. To create such irreparable damage to such a unique area is nothing but insanity! There must be reasonable alternatives.
Dr. Robert S. Hunter
Menlo Park, CA

As a native Carmelite, with my deceased father's home still in Bixby Canyon, I am outraged by the discovery of the Navy's bombing plan. Your pages have been a wonderful (though woeful) eye-opener. As a professor teaching Humanities and Philosophy, I am only sorry I learned about this yesterday, and have only this day, March 7, to try to mobilize students.

Please let me know if there is anything that can be done. I am interested in becoming a member, but my first concern now is to help in any way I can to stop this madness. I have already written a letter through your site, but tried to contact Sam Farr by e-mail, only to find no e-address at his website.

I presume that if this madness does go through, there will be very active protests. I would appreciate being contacted about any events to which I might give my support. Though I am currently living in Arizona, I am actively (desperately) trying to return to my beloved Central Coast. But whatever can be done from a distance, I would be very grateful to know of.
Bless you for your efforts.
Dr. Michael Bradburn-Ruster

The Ventana Area is too sensitive and they worked too long and hard to maintain that area as pristene. Go somewhere else to fly PLEASE!! Once it's allowed, ther's no turning back and then NO RECOVERY for the area.
Mrs. Sheila Husser
Greenfield, Ca

It would be a devastation to the natural beauty, peace and tranquility of the area and an economic nightmare. Businesses that depend on tourist trade and the trade of folks who especially come to the area for it's natural beauty and peacefulness will lose if this plan is allowed to go forward. Please think in terms of the future and the health and safety of our environment and its inhabitants.
Maria Zamudio
Santa Cruz, CA

I think that our community doesnt need bombs being targeted in our beautiful mountains. Big Sur is a lovely place for families, friends and animals. I also think that childern shouldnt be exposed to that
sabrina corralejo-belt

Who is the enemy in THIS bombing?!?!?

I don't know where to begin or end. THERE ARE SOOOOO MANY REASONS THIS IS NOT OK!!!!!!


As a taxpayer and a voter please hear my request.
William Slye


There's got to be a remote, desolate piece of land somewhere that the Navy can use for its bombing practice.

Big Sur is NOT such a place.
John Trauger
Fresno, CA


The San Antonio Valley and the surrounding Big Sur region have long been recognized worldwide as unique, pristine areas of natural beauty which deserve protection from the threat of foreign invasion, and should never be the target of destruction which our protectors would direct against our own natural treasures.

This administration proposes to spend billions of dollars for a missile shield, while it directs American bombs against one of America's greatest natural treasures.

This is the height of environmental insensitivity and recklessness.
Ronald and Pam Phipps
Bayville, NY


The San Antonio Valley and the surrounding area are part of the "Crown Jewels" of nature that we have here to enjoy in beautiful California. It is horrific to think that this beautiful area and its many inhabitants would be put at risk in such a way. There are many natural communities indemic to this area.

Oak trees, condors,and monarch butterflies are but a few natural wonders at risk. Please do not establish a bombing range in the San Antonio Valley. Let this area remain natural and protected as it has been for so many years, even while occupied by the Army. I experienced a days awakening some thirty years ago while driving through the Fort Roberts Army Reserve on way to the Pacific and it was a majestic event, that has long stayed with me. Let generations to come have this magnificent area to explore, breath in, and exalt in.
Will Benshoof
Los Angeles, CA.


I do not have words to express my disbelief that anyone would even consider using the pristine area of San Antonio Valley for bombing practice.
Marjorie Yasueda
San Francisco Ca


This is far too valuable a natural resource to bomb. While it may seem that it is expendable, it isn't. As the wife of man with Multiple Sclerosis, I am acutely aware of the unknown advantages of biological resources as new drugs to combate debilitating diseases.

How would you feel if the cure for a cronic illness such as Parkinsons or ALS were bombed before anyone had time to discover it.

I strongly support protection of all rare plants and animals.
Margaret Ferris


Using the San Antonio Valley for bombing practice is unconscionable and immoral and the plans should cease and desist immediately. Rather, this sacred land should be conserved as a national treasure and not one stone should be over turned.

Please do not disturb this beautiful ecosystem, and allow the monks to pray in peace. The healing must begin today.
Debi Lorenc
San Jose, CA

The wild South Central Coast is a special place for my friends and family to go and experience "Old California". This experience does not include jets flying low and disrupting the peace and magic this place has to offer. Please don't break the silence, it is much needed in California these days.
Matt Stoecker
Santa Barbara, Ca

The unique nature of the area should be preserved and that sufficient ranges in other Western States already in use s/b used.
Jeff Brady
S Cruz, Calif


Esalen and Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. In the time we are living stillness, quiet and peace is rare and necessary.

Please no bombing range!
Viveka Klingenberg


We have long since passed the time to stop destroying the beauties of our nation.

Surely there are other spots on this earth that can be used fr bombing practise. Find them!!!
Leesburg FL


The Big Sur Coast and surounding wilderness areas are sacred and should be treasured and preserved by this country. I urge you to look into other options and to fully understand what you will be doing if you proceed with this plan to establish a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley. As a concerned lover of the Big Sur Coast and Wilderness I will actively prostest this proposed plan of action.
Wendy Root
Monterey, CA


Tis is an inappropirate land use, and will deminish the quality of life in the surrounding communities.

It would disturb wildlife and create a nuisance for residents in the area.
Robert Seale
Palm Springs, CA


It would be a disaster! Please do not approve this plan!
Jacqueline Goodheart
Big Sur, CA


Destroying the silence of the valley is an outrage and needs to be strongly opposed by all who care about the beauty and silence of this place.
George Joseph

The coast of California is a pristine ecological and spiritual resource for the nation.

Please do not destroy the peaceful environment here any more than it has been disturbed already.

Thank you!
The Rev. Chris Highland
San Rafael, CA


Over the next few years and decades the economic, social, and military pressures to exploit our wild areas will only increase. It is essential that we remember that we humans share the planet with many other plant and animal species who need space, air, and large wild places in which to survive. As the population of our country has moved more and more into the cities, we have lost touch with our deep roots in nature and our intuitive understanding of the ecological balance of all living things. In only the past 100-200 years we humans have rapidly acquired the powers of the Gods - we can move mountains, shape rivers, move at vast speeds over the earth, destroy huge areas instantly, and even transform life itself. At the same time we desperately need the wisdom to wield that power wisely and well. The other species on this planet do not share this might - they are helpless against the onslaught of human greed and unbridled power.

It is therefore essential that we do everything in our power to act wisely and well in preserving and expanding the wild areas that we hold in trust for all the other species with whom we share this great nation.

Please do not have a bombing range in this area.
Tom Snell
Aptos, CA

Surely there must be a desert somewhere that would cause less harm to the environment. Maybe it's time we had only ONE Air Force. Then all these practice runs wouldn't be necessary. Please don't proceed with this plan. Sincerely
Joseph and Mafalda Faillace
League City, TX

Speaking as someone who very recently spent time at New Camaldoli Hermitage, I find it inconceivable that the Navy is considering using the San Antonio Valley for "Bombing practice" -- There is something so ludicrous about this that words are difficult to come by...It seems to me that there must be something else behind this decision that we are not aware of...The Navy says the noise will not be heard at the Monestary...New Camaldoli is two miles UP from the ocean and the sound greets and ends each day..I wonder what impact the bombing would have on landslides..that area is certainly sensitive to the elements...there is such a long list of negatives..will the Navy please reconsider.
Sallie Oberlin
San Rafael, CA


Few places remain as pristine and beautiful as the Ventana Wilderness and the San Antionio Valley. There is a quality of life and wilderness here the needs to be respected and maintained as part of our cultural and physical heritage. I believe that members of the military are wise enough to recongize this fact,and have the ability and resources to move the planned bombing in a less environmentally sensitive area.
Trish Kirchhoff


the navy has already raped enough, hasn't it?
this is an outrage
military intelligence?
carol banever
los angeles


I totally agree with the opposition expressed to the Navy's plan.
Roy Parker
Barbara, CA


My part-of-the-year home is on Hidden Valley Ranch about half a mile from the edge of Hunter-Liggett Millitary Reservation. I desperately need peace and quiet there.
Catherine Skapura
Lafayette, CA

The present state of envirnomnet should be preserved.
Gustave Reininger
Pacific Palisades, CA


As a former high school biology teacher, I think it is so important to protect the San Antonio Valley with its botanical and geological variety and beauty.The Navy must not be permitted to continue with its plan to have a jet bombing range in this area.
Kim R. Beecher
Santa Cruz, CA

wrong wrong wrong c'mon what are you thinking about, be kind to mother earth
steve smith
oakland, ca


What is destroyed will never be replaced again. Do we kill a person because he or she happens to stay in the way of our path?


This is an environmentally sensitive area with a diverse variety of plant and animal life, and an amazing and wonderful geological features.

I strongly oppose plans to use this area as a bombing range. Please fight to prevent this from proceeding.
Francine Lapides
Felton, CA


We have destroyed so much of the heritage and history of our lands. It is time for us to have the wisdom and foresight to stop the destruction. Meaningless destruction solely for the practice of war. This is not about defending our country, but rather destroying our country.
M. Sharon Smolick
Pleasant Valley, NY


Can the US Military think of anything more insidious than this? Can't they realize that we are primarily a peaceful nation that doesn't support the military aggression of the last century, that we don't want more planes, bombs, carnage?

The idea is that we need this range for national defense, but it is surely for offensive purposes that we should never support. The US military has done enough damage to the rest of the world, let alone its own territory. Enough is enough. Just ask the 10,000 US citizens living on Vieques, a pristine island off the coast of Puerto Rico, which has been bombed for 50 years at great expense to the health and sanity of the people there.

This lunacy must end, we must cut the military budget by 80 or 90 percent and form a peace party that begins to reverse the trends that this bombing range will only extend. I am a native Californian, and I refuse to let this type of invasion occur without my utmost resistance.
Joshua Matthew Fischer
San German, Puerto Rico


I am a Washington state citizen with a long time interest in the San Antonio Valley, the Valley of the Oaks. I and my family also own forty acres of land directly adjacent to the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation. I am very opposed to the concept proposed by the Navy to use the San Antonio Valley as a target area for the training of its pilots. I believe the entire area to be a wonderful, natural resource that has the most majestic stands of beautiful oaks that I have ever encountered. I look forward to the day that this area of the world will be preserved forever as a great oak and grassland preserve or park. Within its boundaries will be not only the oak forests but the fantastic granite formations and river canyons as well. Absolutely no Navy bombing should be allowed. Thank you.
James B. Delacour
Nancy M. Delacour
Rachel E. Delacour
Justin O. Delacour
Julia A. Delacour
Jean Delacour
Michael Delacour
Barbara Wuchner-Delacour
David Delacour
Benjamin J. Delacour
Alia Jean Delacour
Julie (Delacour) Verdusco
John Schubert
Seattle, Washington


This one of the most ridiculous, ill-conceived plans I have ever heard of, equivalent in travesty to the Taliban bombing of the giant Buddhas in Afganistan.
Andrea Bryck
Oakland, CA


The San Antonio Valley is part of our natural heritage and should be preserved to be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren. On account of the uniquewildlife and the immediate national forest area, you must do all you can to prevent a naval bombing site from being built. Thank you for your time and I look forwart to your reply.
jill miller
Seattle, WA



I first visited the San Antonio Valley last summer and was stunned by its beauty and amazed by the silence. Please do not destroy the tranquility of the area or the natural beauty of the place.
Lucee S. Kirka
Long Beach, CA


I was born and raised in California as well as three generations before me in my family. It will always be home. It is horrifying to know a bombing range is being considered at all. It would be harmful in so many ways.This is a very special area that needs to be preserved. It is so wrong to use it for a bombing range. Please don't.
Phoebe Huffman
Boulder, CO

I thought your job was protecting the U.S.
Christina Wioch

This beautiful pristine area should be preserved undisturbed for the enjoyment of future generations.
Wil Wool
Sunnyvale, CA


The area around Hunter Ligget needs to be preserved for the natural habitat and for recreation. Please abandon plans to use this area for bombing practice.
Jane Gregozek
Sunnyvale CA


All air testing/rehearsing (as in the case of the Blue Angels) should be done over the ocean. Innocent people don't get hurt or terrified when loud planes go over empty ocean...
Carrie Weick
San Francisco,CA


This is an abomination. There is no reason to target such a beautiful nature sanctuary for military testing that can take place in the middle of the desert.
Robyn Pearson
Santa Cruz, CA


This beautiful area needs to be preserved so that people, not jets, can enjoy it. I support turning this area into a cultural and ecological reserve.
Theresa McElroy

We found out about this most absurd plan on a visit to the New Camoldolese Monastary. We have gone there for over ten years, for spiritual retreats and many Sunday services. and we camp, hike and have traveled over all the roads and many of the trails in this area. The idea that the US Navy would use this land for target practice is a violation of all that is right and just, contrary to all that is sacred in the land and in the people that use this land to come in contact with God, nature and themselves. And enough of California has been destroyed for the egoistic uses of man of this generation, a generation that has little long term view, or much sensitivity to the consequences of our actions. But! this is a step way to far. It cannot be allowed to happen. At 60 years old, I have never participated in a protest or become involved in any activity of this kind, but this plan of the Navys did it. How can I help?
Chuck St. John
Sausalito CA

There are many other places already run down to drop bombs. There is no need to ruin this land. Do it in the backyard of the commanders in charge on this operation.

What will our Navy think of next? Isn't it enough that they squander our natural resources with their giant ships and kill our whales with their sonar experiments?

WE THE PEOPLE need to remember that these things are being done in OUR NAME, with OUR TAX DOLLARS. It is OUR United States Navy, it is here to serve US. This bombing plan must be opposed at all costs. I encourge anyone reading this to spread the word across this once-proud nation. This is not just a problem for the people of California. This affects anyone who considers themselves a citizen of these United States.
James Jefferson


The beauty and silence of Big Sur is a rare and valuable natural asset.

To destroy it by creating a jet fighter bombing range could only undermine support for the Navy in our culture.
Thomas Levergood
The Lumen Christi Institute
Chicago, IL


I am outraged by the proposal to bomb in Big Sur. Is this another one Pres. Bush's adolescent retaliation's toward California? Are people really this ignorant that they think we can keep killing and polluting some of the precious little land we have left that is clean and where certain species can survive and still have a place for our children to grow up in? I grew up with regular visits to Big Sur. How dare this government think it okay to pollute and endanger it with jets and test bombs. I oppose this decision and think George Bush stole the presidency and is promoting every selfish gain he can. His ignorance astounds me. Again, I oppose these tests in a tender wildlife area. How dare you even consider it. I hope Bush doesn't retaliate against me for writing this. I heard he had his secret service men arrest a guy who wrote something bad about him in an editorial. Are we turning into a fascist state. The plants and animals in the Big Sur area are rare and endangered due to other pollution. Please respect this. Please leave the environment out of your need to destroy. Leave something for our children. Please!!
Suzanne Levi-Sanchez
San Francisco, CA

Do not bomb or further develop this naturally beautiful and diverse land!!
Lynn Pagel
San Jose, CA

This is a tragedy. There are millions of acres of useless waste land in the state to use for a bombing practice range. The concept of turning one of the most beautiful and wonderful tourist destinations in the state into a bombing zone is one of the more stupid ideas that have been presented in recent times. I implore you to choose another site for this project, possibly out in the desert regions in the south part of the state.
Robert A Peterson
Portland OR.


The San Antonio Valley must be preserved.
Veronica DeVivo
Newfield, NY


This is ridiculous....Of all places!!!! Come on!!!
Chris Juco
San Jose, CA


There are lots of other places for this!
Tom Kushman


The beauty of this isolated place can be a refuge not just for endangered wildlife, but for the endangered human spirit.
Susan Foley
Piedmont, CA


It's a crazy idea and will do a lot of un-repairable damage to the area; stuff that cannot be seen right away or fixed later.
Lucia Dugliss
San Francisco, CA


For the love of God, don't let this abomination take place. Use common sense: it's ugly, desecrating, senseless. Don't buy into the rationalizations of Magog.
Howard Frankl
Santa Cruz, CA


I've been spending six to eight weeks a year along the Big Sur coast for the past 20 years. What draws me back each time is the pristine nature of the wilderness and the incredible silence, especially at the New Camaldoli Hermitage. In a world saturated by noise pollution this area is indeed a haven for all those seeking to renew their spirits and their souls. I've experienced these pilots buzzing the monastery and the hotsprings at Esalen.

They do not pay any attention to their required altitude limits. I've also experienced these same pilots in the Crestone region of Colorado where they fly so low over the Nada Hermitage that one can literally see the whites of the eyes of the pilots. If it's too far for these planes to fly to Nevada from their California base then perhaps the base should be moved to that part of the desert already setup for target practice. We should be finding ways to make peace not more ways to kill people with our bombs. There is ! so little accessible wilderness left on this planet. We cannot afford to allow another inch of it to fall prey to the military.
Yvonne Rose
Point Richmond, California

The San Antonio Valley area is a beautiful and cherished jewel of California. I oppose this ridiculous proposal.
Susan J. Weiand
San Jose, CA
If the reality is that we cannot hope to alleviate these practices entirely, consideration should be made to the appropriate use of lands from the point of view of the public, especially in cases like these. Further, bombing practice runs can be made quite effectively in simulators, reducing real world impact greatly.
Troy Stone
Morgan Hill, Ca.

If we need to test weapons, can't we do it in the desert rather than in a beautiful natural area? Better yet, can't we spend the money on something constructive, rather than on something destructive? The proposed testing plan is entirely inappropriate. The proposed test site if much too close to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and other natural areas. Please drop your pollution somewhere else - we don't allow dumping here.
Paul John Pearah, PhD
San Jose, CA


Please do not send 3,000 jets into this quiet, treasured area. Somehow, escaping to take a private hike loses some of its allure knowing that a squadron of U.S. Navy Jets will soon be flying by. This is not quite the scenery most of us go to this area for.
Maren Reilly

Big Sur is a sacred area. Please do all you can to protect it.
Dan Friedman
Santa Rosa, CA

These actions would be completely absurd! Don't you guys know by now that we have a state called Nevada just for this purpose! I mean I might beleivew even Urah or New Mexico, but CALIFORNIA! Good Grief Charlie Brown!


Lets not make any more foolish mistakes like we have in the past!
Thank you.
Ed Giguere
Carmichael, CA


The Navy is making a mistake that could cause irreparable harm to a significant natural asset.
Robert J. Sandner
St.Charles, IL


This plan is simply an evil plan.

It should not be done.

Life is too precious to consider that it should be destroyed by extremist forces, such as the U.S. Navy, in this regard - the San Antonio wilderness and Big Sur - that good things should be destroyed anticipating a future war that does not exist.

This is foolish. I want the plan stopped.

It is morally wrong.
Carolyn Straub
San Jose, CA


Does the Navy need to proceed with a bombing range? Yes, of course, but to do so in the San Antonio Valley is irresponsible. There is a place of natural beauty which touches the lives of countless citizens. I'm sure that there are other alternatives which offer similar terrain. Please seek an alternative.
James Brady
Oakland, California


The monks living in the area are a small, rare religious order with in the Catholic Church. It would be a tragedy if their life were uprooted. The Navy should MOST CERTAINLY reconsider its plans, if in no other name than religious freedom.
Craig J. St. Clair
West Newbury, MA


The bombings must not be permitted.
Father Connor Lynn
Los Angeles CA


This is simply outrageous and deplorable! I am sure the navy can find other ways to entertain themselves, perhaps more champagne submarine cruises....
Cynthia Ahern
Chesterland, Ohio


I believe the idea is absolutely crazy. Our Earth is our home and it is very small.

We should be protecting our home not destroying it every chance we get. I thought the military is there to protect us, not destroy us. Our future and future generations will be very angry with us if we allow this to happen. As I get older (I am 59) I believe the world is truly a crazy place run by idiots. We all send emails and discuss these matters but usually the proposals take place anyway. Do we really have any say so in the truly important matters? Our votes, if counted, only go for some things not other more important things.
Aimee L. Walker
San Mateo, CA


The bombing is wrong. Don't do it. I was born and have lived all my life in California. As a child, my parents took me numerous times through the Hunter-Legett reserve and Big Sur. I have loved it always. This land is closer than my heart to me. I am a part of it. The beauty of California has partly formed who I am. The beauty has taught me a respect for the land and the environment. California has taught me what it means to be in partnership with the environment. To submit the land,the plants, animals, sky, the total environment to this kind of mutilation is immoral and unacceptable. It violates all I have learned about beauty, respect, and partnership. It violates my home and my heart.
Lucinda Glenn Rand
Graduate Theological Union
Berkeley, CA


The New Camaldoli / Immaculate Heart of Mary Hermitage and Monastery in Big Sur, CA has not only been home to the Camaldolese Monks since the 1950s but a haven of spirtuality,prayer, quiet and tranquility for thousands of visitors in and out of California all year round. It makes more sense to preserve this sacred place and to scrap the Navy Bombing Range Proposal for the area.
Edgar A. Gamboa, M.D., FACS, FICS
Brawley, CA


This is not necessary for national security--it interferes with the lives of plants and animals in the valley, and with people's lives--the residents of the valley, including a monastery and its many visitors. The tranquility and ecological integrity of this area must be preserved.
Frederick Erickson
Pacific Palisades CA

There must be other less valuable, less beautiful sites to be bombed--if, indeed, you must.
Marianna Danskin
Half Moon Bay, CA

Please do not allow the Navy or any other military entity to use the San Antonio Valley or Big Sur for their tests!! Given the recent military "accidents", are you certain that one of these so called test runs won't result in a crash and burn. By the way, what conflagration are we preparing for? Peaceful coexistence is a much nicer way to go.
Jo Ellen Arntz
San Francisco, CA

This is so horrific that it sounds like a joke! Don't let it happen!
Ann Aubin

It is an inappropriate choice of sites for a bombing range.

This is a terrible plan. It is like bombing the Grand Canyon Yellowstone or Yosemite! Please don't do it.
Paul Niebank


The Navy is pretty out of touch with reality to even consider this.
John Fridinger
Santa Cruz, CA


As a U.S. Navy Viet-Nam era veteran I do not agree with present Navy plans to construct a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley near Big Sur. This should NOT happen!
Keith E. Homstad
former HM2 US Navy


I think the idea of dropping in one of the worlds most beuatiful areas is a desecration. The current tendancy of the Navy to screw up isn't reassuring, either, especially in this context.
Heidi E. Ruster
Oroville, Ca.


We need to preserve sacred space which is available on a regular basis. These war games are disruptive! Compare the disruption to trying to say Grace at a meal coninually interrupted by someone trying to sell funeral services or life insurance.
Thomas Heslin
Cabin John, MD


This bombing will not only affect the areas hit by the bombs, but it disturbs and thus destroys the environment for many miles around.

Preserve our history and biodiversity.
Catherine Day
Newark, CA

It is tragic that the Navy cares so little about our precious natural environment as

to even consider the construcion of a jet fighter bombing range in the San Antonio Valley.

The responsibility to preserve these rare coastal, forest and wilderness areas far outweighs the energy and monetary savings the Navy hopes to realize by having a more convenient target practice range for its Lemoore pilots. The risk of irreparable damage to spiritual and natural wonders is cannot be justified. We must oppose the Navy's proposal and demand for its withdral.
Erin Sargeant
San Francisco, CA


Those people who in the position of deciding about this issue may be best informed by going to spend a few days at the Hermitage and surrounding area. Hopefully then they will 'get' what everybody else seems to already know.
simon fellows
Paris France 75015


as a boy living in coronado i saw the navy bomb one of the channel islands to bits for target practice - in the case of big sur, which is a n internationally beloved sanctuary of nature and the spirit, the invasion by sound and mock bombs send the wrong message altogether - - isn't there some god forsaken place that has already been environmentally compromised that could be used for these exercises?
jeffrey cave
atlanta, ga


I worked for the Camaldolese Monks in the early 90's. This is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Please preserve it's integrity and stop the Navy Bombing Proposal. Let's stay in the solution! Thank you!
Larry Kingery Fojtik
Los Angeles, CA


I write to voice my opposition to the Navy's plans for a bombing practice range in the Santa Lucia Mountains. It is an absurd choice for such an undertaking, as the NEPA process will no doubt reveal. But we cannot rely on the outcome of an EIS, and I urge you to cancel your plan.

I have many friends all over the country and internationally who always put the Big Sur area on the top of their lists when they visit California, and I can't imagine that the sound of jets flying overhead would add anything positive to the experience of visiting this pristine area. Our enjoyment of the area would be adversely impacted by the plan, not to mention the irrevokable harm it would cause to terrestrial and marine life.

Please stop this unwanted undertaking.
D. DeJoseph
Santa Cruz, CA


The idea of ruining such a precious resource with the type of noise, smoke, and visual pollution that is being proposed by our military and political representatives is inexcusable. The San Antonio Valley has long been a treasure in the minds and hearts of all that seek solitutude in the beauty of this area. Please protect these national forest and wilderness areas so they can be enjoyed and admired for centuries to come. Where will we revel in the beauty of all that nature has to offer if we destroy our natural treasures with unnecessary military pollution?
Salem M. Eways
Albany, CA


The Navy's purpose is to protect the US from foreign powers. Not to destroy what is unique, beautiful and precious in California. I remember the Fort Ord convoys travelling to Fort Hunter Liggett along the Salinas River Road every week. The military choppers flying over - day and night. Thank God they moved to Fort Lewis in Washington State. The Monterey Bay Area has been much more tranquil since then. San Antonio Valley is a special, world-renowned area of great natural beauty should not have to endure such man-made grossness of a bombing range.
Brian Cawley
Scotts Valley, CA

Please please keep SOME of God's work untouched.
Brian Lamb

This magnificent piece of California is a place where many go for peace, beauty, and renewal of spirit. The Navy's proposal is a disasterous one.
Ruth Martin
Santa Rosa, CA


I have a forty acre parcel and home that borders the Fort Hunter Ligget Military Resevation. After reading various Newspaper Articles, it is still not clear to me what the Navy plans to do here. I try to maintain an open mind about these issues until I have the appropriate amount of information. Currently, there is a significant amount of Commercial Airline traffic over this area. It is essentially an air highway between Northern and Southern California. I don't feel these flights are generally a problem due to their high altitude and sub-sonic speed. Now, if the Commercial Airliners are going to continue to fly at the higher elevations, than one would expect that the Navy plans to fly their super-sonic jets in at lower elevations to perform their bombing pratice. This concerns me from two standpoints. 1) I have been on an Air Force base in the past and watched super-sonic jets fly at low elevations. Even when one is expecting the jet to come by, it still scares the pants off you when the jet goes over and you get hit with the sonic-boom afterwards. To expose the general public to this type of activity (at any location) on a routine basis is absurd. 2) As with all military activities, there will be accidents (we saw what happened to the Chinese Ambassy in Serbia). Having a jet crash that spreads jet fuel over an area that is already a major fire hazard in the summer will undoubtedly result in yet another uncontrolled wild fire on the Fort Hunter Ligget Reservation. We (the local residents) are already threatened by these wild fires every summer. I can't imagine that this danger will be reduced when a firing range is converted to a bombing range.

From what I have read in the Newspaper, the Navy wants to pratice in this area (versus bombing ranges that are already established)to save on the cost of fuel.

Frankly, this sounds like something that would come out of a simple-minded officer who is looking for a promotion. We (the general public) pay a huge amount of our yearly earnings to the federal government each year to support the military. The military has huge budgets so that it can train, and train IN AREAS THAT ARE APPROPRIATE. In other words, we (the general public) are paying high taxes so that the military can practice at locations that are not distruptive to the general public. Clearly, the Navy is not spending our money wisely. I suggest that the Navy save money by purchasing toilet seats that cost less than $400. The argument that the Navy has to use Fort Hunter Ligget to save jet fuel, and therefore money, is again absurd.

Please, if someone can give me a reasonable explanation as to why Fort Hunter Ligget is the best place for a bombing range, I'd love to hear it. So far, I haven't heard any.
John Reinholdt
Bradley, CA

The Navy should make better use of their current facilities rather than extend their domain to one of this countries most pristine and beautiful areas. The cold war is over. they need to be reminded of this.
Dan Bittner
Avila Beach, CA.

This is absolutely one of the most beautiful spots on earth and should not be defaced in such a manner. It's on the same level as destroying the Budda's in Afganistan.
Tom Dawson
Raleigh, NC


The New Camaldoli / Immaculate Heart of Mary Hermitage and Monastery in Big Sur, CA has not only been home to the Camaldolese Monks since the 1950s but a haven of spirtuality,prayer, quiet and tranquility for thousands of visitors in and out of California all year round. It makes more sense to preserve this sacred place and to scrap the Navy Bombing Range Proposal for the area.
Edgar A. Gamboa, M.D., FACS, FICS
Brawley, CA


How could they possibly think that noone would notice or care?!!! There are so few places like this left, and it is just like the government to make it their personal waste basket, and ruin it for the sake of unwanted warfare.I plead for more people to get involved.
Amnity Wayberry
Savannah, Ga


You will be destroying the very thing you have sworn to protect--your own country! Please do not foul your own nest. We all live in it. Do not bomb or disturb what is left of this already raped state.
Julia Wikswo
Brentwood, Tn.


Without knowing too much about what the alternatives are to using this area as a bombing site, I find this proposal too be absurd. Surely there must be another, less significant area on the coast for such a demolition. If not, i think it is the navy's responsibility to design training curriculum to suit the "protection" of our country, not the destruction of it. Please reevaluate!
matthew kruse

it is indeed shameful that the navy feels it must intrude on what has been a pristine, unpolluted, quiet area for so long. why is is that the military can show so little regard for natural treasure? we urge you to reconsider this harmful, ill-considered move.
michael and connie percival

San Antonio Valley is an extremely unique spot which should be preserved for future generations. Please protect it from further degredation and invasion.
Hannah Lea Nielsen
Santa Cruz, CA

The proposed Navy plan is an outrageous intrusion and ill-conceived. I hope Rep. Farr and Senator Feinstein don't relent in their opposition.
J.V. Long
Portland, OR


It's a beautiful region that should not be abused in such a way. The Navy has plenty of other sites for practice. This proposed bombing will be destructive of the peace and natural beauty that I and many others seek there.
James Callum

This beautiful area should be preserved. Many foreigners, including me, long to come for the peace and tranquility of the wilderness and the famous Big Sur coastline. I would also come for the peace of the Monastery.
John Green
Lodge Moor


By what logic shall we destroy our own national treasures in the name of national protection?
Martha Kate Miller
South, Darien, CT


If the Navy thinks it is necessary to conduct test bombings, let them bomb in Washington DC. Stay out of Big Sur! Restore the base to its Natural State and lets fight to get the area declared and federally recognized natural preserve.
Roy Remer
Alameda, CA

it is morally wrong to rupture the silence of such a holy space!
Patricia Neufeld


This is an outrageous proposal!
Fred Mindlin
Watsonville, CA


The Navy might want to re-locate Lemore Naval Air Base from the center of the state to closer to San Diego where they would have access to bombing runs into the desert of southern California, where they are already conducting runs. It was announced this April, on CNN that the armed forces (combined) report at least one aircraft accident weekly. This concern added to the auditory spoiling of Big Sur, Los Padres National Forest, and San Antonio Valley would seem to make this plan unworkable. I hike every week into the Big Sur Wilderness and the quality of my recreational and spiritual experiences would be spoiled. I live in this area (for 25 years) due to the beautiful hiking opportunities. This coastal stretch is most unique and attracts tourists (which considerably boosts our local economy). Screaming jets passing over Hiway 1 (from carriers based in the Pacific Ocean)would compromise the enjoyment of this area for all. I completely oppose consideration of Navy flyovers in this area.
Jane DuFresne
Cambria, CA

This proposal is the epitome of heedless ignorance, verging on real evil. I am urging anyone involved in putting this foolish and inconsiderate plan forward to take time, look within, and allow a change of heart to take place. This before you make a mistake you will regret, perhaps not now, but soon, and for the rest of your life.
Campbell, CA
You've got to be kidding! What's next from Uncle Sam? A special exemption to allow them to bomb at the Grand Canyon? I would guess that lots of politicians have not actually been to Big Sur. If they had, they would never think of desecrating and disturbing the treasure that is Big Sur/Ventana.

What planet are these people from, and why did they select Big Sur of all the possible places that they could have chosen from? As far as I and many other people are concerned, Big Sur makes the short list of the most beautiful places-certainly in the United States, and arguably the world. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read about the Navy's plans. My wife and I make a yearly trip to Big Sur from Chicago in order to restore ourselves. The place has a mystical quality about it that can't be understood until you've been there. How could Big Sur even make the list? Who the hell is in charge of our government?
Eric Smoczynski
Chicago IL

Please do not destroy this precious ecological area. Do not destroy the home of these native people. How would you feel about someone using your ancestral home for bombing practice?
Robin Lillian
Queens, NY
The solitude that the area offers is precious espescially considering it's proximity to large population centers. I am an ex-Resident of Los Osos.
Tyler Kruegeer
Las Cruces, NM

Wonderful news about the EIS. I thought I might mention, however, that in the NEPA process, an EA is a preliminary step to an EIS. In other words, although it's quite clear to those of us who oppose the Navy plan that it is a major undertaking that would result in "significant environmental effects", the results of the proposed EA would no doubt have led to the preparation of an EIS. That is, there is no way their EA would have resulted in a "FONSI". Unfortunately,public opposition should have been enough to scrap the plan -- now we have to scientifically prove its negative impact. The battle has only begun. Good luck to us all.
Denise DeJoseph

The Military is concerned only with the Military way of doing things. They do not understand they exist to protect our country. They are no better than the imaginary foesthey claim to be protecting the US from.
Brian Cawley
Scotts Valley, CA

Did they think we would not notice this assault to our earth? I promise that I will help by doing whatever I can to stop this insanity.
Dexter Braden
Goleta, CA


In the small Island of Vieques, a Municipality of Puerto Rico, the Navy has been practicing with live ammunition for the past 60 years. The island has been half destroyed, it's people have been displaced and it has the highest death rate caused by cancer. Please check
and <> so you can understand the struggle of the people (9,200 approx) of this small island to get the Navy to stop the bombing and leave so they can live in peace and nature will bloom, and the leatherback and green turtle will return. Our main weapon is civil disobedience. Many people, not only Viequenses and Puertoricans but people from the USA like Edward James Olmos, Pat Kennedy, Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, US Legislators like Chicago's Luis Gutierres, have entered the restricted area and have been sentenced to 30/120 days in the Federal Court. We've had diverse politicians, different religious and civil groups been arrested and put to jail for up to 4 months, all this for a petite offense. Right now the Mayor of Vieques elected by a vast mayority, is serving 4 months in a local federal prison. We had a Referendum this past July where 70% of the population voted for the navy to stop practices, leave the island and cleanup all the war trash left behind and they won't recognize the will of a people. I wish you would check the sites above, it will give you strength to fight them to the last consequences,, you don't want them there. Good luck!
Elaine Hopgood-Davila
San Juan, Puerto Rico

he destruction of the natural heritage of the Stony Valley will be a horrendous, careless, morally imprudent, and inhuman thing to do. As an American citizen & conservation chair of the Pasadena Audubon Society, I demand that you immediately halt proceedings to build this bombing range in the San Antonio Valley!
Sylvia Vieyra
Alhambra CA

We have precious few natural resoruces left and Big Sur is one of them. I was first touched by it's beauty on a business trip a few years ago and it brought me to to tears. It is grand indeed and the very idea of destroying it by using it as a bombing range, practice or otherwise is such an afront that I am speechless fow proper words. Please don't do such a thing! There is only so much untouched, pure nature left. You will destroy countless habitats if you do this, not to mention the beauty of this land for my children and their children.

Please don't do this.
Nellie Moore

This area of California has a rich diversity and should be preserved for future generations because of its uniqueness and for ecological study. Do not use this area for target practice, we have too much to lose.
Shirley Douty
Fresno, CA
San Antonio Valley should be preserved and made a part of the Ventana wilderness.It is outrageous that the Navy would even consider destruction of such an amazing ecologically and spiritually rich area.
charmian traynor
Ben Lomond, CA

I oppose the U.S. Navy proposal to do jet fighter bombing practice in the Stony Valley area of San Antonio Valley, California. The flight approach to this area will drastically disrupt the restorative peace and solitude of the Big Sur area, and especially the retreat centers used by the public at the monastaries in the area. Additionally, the proposed target area which has valuable and unique cultural and biological treasures would be rendered useless.
Lloyd Simms
Los Osos, California
The proposal to inflict practice bombing runs upon one of the most exquisite, tranquil, and beautiful places on earth, and, moreover, by such extremely intrusive and polluting aircraft would be irreversibly destructive, and is both incomprehensible and infuriating. How could such a unique and special area be targeted? There certainly are other viable alternatives. Please, please, please DO NOT DO THIS!!!
George Stanton
Los Osos CA

This is appalling to much more pristine land has to be desecrated for the sake of the military?
Peter L Perez
Berkeley CA

Attetion should be paid to Stephanie Salter's article which appeared in the SF Chronicle some weeks ago.
Raymond G. Decker
Sebastopol, CA


The San Antonio Valley and Ventana Wilderness is home to endangered California Condors, native plants unique to the area and archaeological artifacts of the Salinan culture.

This nearly intact natural area should not be impacted by the proposed bombing range. It should be maintained for all time in as nearly pristine condition as possible. Bombing is it totally unacceptable.
Jean O'Hagan


This is area is treasure for all Californians, for all people---a ground of history, a delicate web of being, a source of spiritual solitude for thirsty souls. It is truly an obscenity to desecrate this area with practice bombing runs.
Manuel Medeiros
Davis, CA


The U.S. Navy has no right to murder the Earth-anywhere. Stop the madness! Bomb yourselves and your own families at home if that is your wish.

Jeffrey Mark Klamer
Big Sur, CA

Has the Navy taken a look at Big Sur? Perhaps one look would be all it takes to bring them to their senses. Bomb Texas instead.
Mary Jo Kwiatek
La Crescenta, CA


To have protected the San Antonio valley for so many years and then to disrupt and potentially destroy the ecosystem is simply unthinkable. As a resident of San Diego raised in a Navy family I am fully aware of the value of our armed services to the world. And living within the flight pattern of what was once NAS Miramar and a short drive from the Chocolate Mountains bombing range, I am also aware of the impact of military training on the community. It is imperative that we maintain an appropriate balance, including careful review of the environmental impact of such major proposals within and adjacent to National Forests and other protected regions. I strongly believe this proposal should be reconsidered.
Wade Rich
San Diego, CA
Big Sur and the outlying areas are internationally known and visited for their rare beauty. There is no place in the world like Big Sur. It must be preserved.
Randall Sherwood

the Navy needn't practice bombing at all, anywhere. Those whose heads are all stuffed with military nonsense need to attend one of the retreats, and leave the bombs and guns behind. All the military might goes to cowardly bullying, and should be relegated to the past, the sooner the better.
Frank Ferris
Sebastopol, CA


The area in question, Big Sur and the San Antonio Valley, is one of the few remaining jewels in our nation's increasingly tattered crown.

To enlist this land for a meaningless military exercise is nothing less than sacrilege, if you take any pride whatsoever in the United States, and cannot be permitted!
David Vogelsang
Hatfield, PA

I found it hard to believe that this is being considered. The Navy needs to find other alternatives to train their pilots besides this method which impacts the enviroment in several different ways.
roberta jackson

It is UNCONSCIONABLE that the powers that be would allow this to happen. I will personally lay down on the bombing range and protect the Big Sur wilderness with my life. I strongly urge the navy to discard this insane, irresponsible and frankly evil plan.
Anthony & Kathleen Vitiello
Pleasanton, CA

The Navy plan is completely "off base" and should be abandoned. It will destroy the most serene area in Calif.
Howard Mainhart
Nipomo, Ca.

The Central Coast and the Sacred Lands pf the Chumash and Salinan "Must be forever protected".
Mihran M. Simonian, JD
Cambria, Ca.


I think that if the Navy goes ahead with this poorly thought out action, it will leave us no moral higher ground for us to stand on, and put us on a par with the Talbean Iconoclasts in Afganistan. This is an unacceptable use of public funds, to destroy cultural relics and environmental habitats.
Michael Simonovich
Santa Cruz, CA


Lemoore is 0 miles from the airbase. Have the Navy bomb their own home. Just put big dumpsters at the end of the runway and let them hit those. I did like the way the proposal was written. It did tell the story of the USN bombing a beautiful valley. I didn't like the short period from proposal to public comment to EIR.
martin peaden
Santa Cruz


The military presence in this, possibly the most beautiful, biologically diverse, and ecologically stunning place on the planet, is absurd.

There are many other denuded locations in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, etc. that would be relatively unaffected by these war games.

Why must we continually fight to protect and preserve the natural world we require in order to be fully human? How is it that so many of those in power fail to appreciate the world in which we live? How can they be unaffected by the beauty and serenity that so many of us recognize as integral to Existence and Life?

My family chose to sell our real estate in the Northwest so we could return to this area that feeds our souls like no other. We gave up home ownership just so we could drink from the Eternal Spring expressed by the saying "Big Sur Forever." To have been here, scruffing our way, these last four years only to find that the military plans to besmirch this Holy Ground with its pillage play is diabolical.

What of the Montery Marine Sanctuary and the Preservation of Big Sur that

attracted us to this Wonder that is California's Central Coast?

I am disgusted and angry and put a pox on the Military Mindlessness that has already polluted this coast with ordinance and untold toxins at Fort Ord. The same Military that bequeathed us the horrid Monterey Airport-the only industrial source of noise and air pollution in this pristine locale-now wants to rend the air, water, and land with high explosives.

This is the height of insensitivity and stupidity. It is absurd, demonic, and demoralizing.
Mark Healy
Pacific Grove


If this is true, perhaps a national effort, signed petitions etc could stop them.

I would have heard nothing about this except for a planned trip to the area. CBS, Nightline, 20/20, does anyone care to take a next step? How?
Dr. Paul Smith
Cleveland, Ohio


Ban this bombing! This is an assault to nature and humankind.

A bombing range over this natural national treasure should be prohibited. I strongly urge everyone to speak out! Our individual voices are powerful!
Pam Lockhart
Three Rivers, CA


Please do not bomb any part of our lovely California landscape.

The purpose of the military is to protect our homeland, our people and animals and wild growth from possible destruction. It would be quite absurd for our own military to destroy what they've been charged with protecting. There are other ways for the Navy to train their pilots. The U.S. military has already done ample damage to our indigenous peoples; they should avoid doing any more. God bless the United States of America.
John Bamford
San Francisco, CA


That it is outrageous that we would even consider using these pristine areas for a bombing site. We have numberous bombing sites already. Let's continue to use those and not spoil ecologically sensitive places such as these.
Lauren Friedman
Daly City CA

The Navy should stop bombing practices all together.
Brian Jackson
San Francisco, CA


This is such a rare, peaceful and beautiful area for America. The Navy excercises would destroy the much needed serenity in the area.
Richard Keith
Fairfax, CA

This is outragious. There are plenty other places to do exercises like this and they are picking a gem of an area like this?
michael nudi
Dana Point CA 9


I believe the Navy's environmental due dillegence has been VERY lacking in this, and that they should stop plans immediately.
Joseph DeStefano II
San Diego, CA

These resources, once destroyed, can never be replaced in their original form. They MUST be protected and preserved.
Edward C. Simmel, Ph.D.
Borrego Springs

San Antonio Valley should be protected as a park, preserve, wilderness area or some such. I am a bit suspicious of this "cultural" concept as I see it as foreign to traditional preservation systems and also as a way to marginialize opposition to the Navy's proposal. I believe larger numbers of citizens can agree on a park like concept. Save the San Antonio's Valley of the Oaks for future generations. Thank You.
James B. Delacour


Surely the Navy can find somewhere else to drop their bombs. The three million dollars saved is simply not worth the impact on such a precious area.
Vince Manning
Paso Robles,ca


The eastern Big Sur environment is just as valuable as the coastal environment.

Much of the watershed that feeds the Nacimiento river and the Carmel river is as close to an unaltered natual environment as any in the state. The rugged wildness of the Sur has always been a welcome refuge from the tarmacked wilderness of California's developed areas. I can not imagine the solitude of a hike into Arroyo Seco or Salmon Creek broken by the roar of a naval aircraft on a bombing run. I have had too many Kern Canyon hikes ruined by the canyon skirting jets from China Lake Naval base. Let's make peace and solitude a priorty over the supposed need for national security.
John Gutshall
Santa Maria, CA

If this is an absolutely necessary thing to even do, they can certainly find more remote and less fragile ego systems than Big Sur, but frankly I think they could do without any testing!!! maybe they should do the testing in the politicians and military personnel's (that support this) backyard!!!!
Wendy Tubbs
Redwood City, CA

My whole life has been taking care of the animals in our diverse land! From the free flying birds to the crawling creatures, to the wild growing plantlife! I will not sit by and allow the government to use our tax dollars to destroy our magnificent land! How do they intend to explain the damage caused by their actions? Do they have anyintentions besides destruction! Typical of our government to hypocritically enforce their rule in our democracy!
Jeremiah Padron
San Jose, Ca


The Navy has no need to continue building sites for 'bombing tests'...where have they been testing all these years so far??? Stay with what you already have. Big Sur is sacred...please do not spoil with noise pollution and visions of human hostility.
Manny Shah
Tarzana, CA


I am at a loss for words, but my heart cries out! I am saddened to for the thought of such a beutiful part of our land being destroyed by vain attempts of the Navy to pursue military projects while seriously endangering the land! This is OUR land! As a Californian, I have the burning desire to make sure that the Navy realizes this will not be accepted by the people!
Tawny Haydock
San Jose, CA

Is the navy Crazy?

This is adjacent to a wilderness Area, The C.A.M.P. helicopters are bad enough,we have been buzzed several times, but fighter jets? come on ! We are outfitters in The Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas and are adamantly opposed to this proposition, how can we provide a wilderness experience with fighter jets overhead?

leave it to our goverment to come up with such a ludicrous plan. What does the Forest Service have to say?

What about the Condors? We have sighted numerous birds on several occasions, they seem to be doing well in their native range,how will they react to fighter bombers? Our goverment has spent millions of dollars on the re-introduction project, only to have the birds disturbed by fighter jets? I can not think of a more stupid plan, What next? Nuclear bomb test sight? I wouldnt be surprised.
Rhena Agostini


This sounds like a terrible idea to me. Jets don't belong anywhere near national wildlife reserves and the big sur area is particuarly enchanting and I've spent many a vacation there.

If with a clear conscious and open eyes you can say the ecological side effects will be negligible then I don't see why the navy can't have it's big target to potty train their killers of tommorow.
Vince Eagen



The Navy needs to find ways to simulate bombing runs using cyberspace technology, and stop harassing various areas of the world, including Puerto Rico and California's Central Coast, with their destructive bombing activities. This is ludicrous. We wouldn't allow another nation to bomb our coastline. Why should we allow our own?
Garlynn G. Woodsong
El cerrito, CA

This is such a huge mistake we & our ancestors will pay for it dearly for centuries to come.
Mrs.Elizabeth Lomuscio
Boca Raton, Fl

Drop the plan, it's a bad idea. It's a waste of money. It's environmentally destructive. It invites lawsuits. It's an embarrassment to the Navy that the plan has stayed alive this far.
Kriss Worthington
Berkeley, Ca.

How can this even be a consideration ... all the history in that valley. Not to mention the wild life and one of the few places in CA we can still be absolutely removed from cities!
Jayne Goocher
Hermosa Beach, CA
Cambria, CA

I am against the use of the San Antonio Valley as a site for practice bombing.
Patrick W. Martin
Pacifica, ca


I enjoy the wilderness when ever I can get time off work. I can't imagine being able to have the same relationship with the land with fighter jets flying over.
Brian Mack
Salinas Ca


The navy needs to re-think this one!!!
Theresa Hammond


TOTAL BAD PLAN , AND , IDEA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This area is a stunning national treasure and should not be ruined as a bomb target. The Navy has no need for it.
Catherine Borden
La Jolla, CA




We are destroying the beautiful and unique places in California at an alarming rate, and for what? What will our children inherit from us? Will they not be able to hear the cry of birds, smell the trees and plants or see the beauty of valleys and hills but by the books, photos and videos we show them. It's not the same!

This news of pratice bombing, especially here, saddens and disturbs me greatly.

There are many rare plants and animals as well as historical remnants that will be disturbed and probably lost forever. Please stop this bombing!
Joyce Davidson
Rocklin, CA


Nobody is considering the biological impact
Rob Brown


The "only thing neccessary" has nothing to do with fighters.The only fight neccessary is against ignorance of God. No fighter planes required to that end.
Angel Lopez Arteaga



It is blasphemous to even consider such an outrageous practice in a place which is serene and sacred. I come to Big Sur often to chill from the eratic pace of the city and have experienced first hand the blessing of this sacred land. Fake bombs or not, it is rape of the land and I absolutely will not stand for this country's obsession with weapons anymore.
Jainee D. Patrice
Beverly Hills, CA
Please do not turn this peaceful area, with its religious, monastic, and natural sites, into a bombing range. There should be at least a few places where the exigencies of the moment can be balanced by a search for inner balance and health.
Lynn Witherspoon
Dallas, TX

Having flown over most of the United States, I have seen first hand many areas that are better suited to the task.

My grandmother said it best, "What the hell's the matter with them?"
Brian Martin
Nashville Area

I have visited this beautiful area many times in the past and hope to continue to be able to spend more time in this pristine and historical reserve in the future. It would be a shame to lose this legacy for present and future generations. Using this area as a bombing range endangers many biological and historical treasures. Please don't allow this to happen!
Abraham Smith

We are destroying the beautiful and unique places in California at an alarming rate, and for what? What will our children inherit from us? Will they not be able to hear the cry of birds, smell the trees and plants or see the beauty of valleys and hills but by the books, photos and videos we show them. It's not the same! This news of pratice bombing, especially here, saddens and disturbs me greatly.

There are many rare plants and animals as well as historical remnants that will be disturbed and probably lost forever. Please stop this bombing!
Joyce Davidson
Rocklin, CA


This proposed action is out of step with the times. I support the consensus to not proceed and the valley remain protected.
Michael McQuade



We are just staggered at the crassness of the military to even consider a bombing range in one of the world's most celebrated landscapes, reported in the UK's "Guardian" newspaper today. Fight 'em - for our future enjoyment of of peace on highway 1!
Mike & Carol Swift
West Yorkshire


It's so obvious that this area needs to be preserved--it's ridiculous to think otherwise--it's tantamount to unadulterated stupidity to allow the navy to do this...
kent morris
fullerton, ca

The Navy is supposed to protect the United States of America, and yet if it decides to use the San Antonio Valley as a bombing range, I feel that it destroys part of what makes America special and beautiful. The San Antonio Valley is rich in cultural history, its variety of plant life and terrain. Please keep this unique place quiet and clean.
Gwyneth Horobin
San Anselmo, CA


Why is it that every pristine, quiet location is subjected to the noise of military jets. I was on a winter trek up Whitney when one passed at tree top level, heading back to China Lake. The sonic boom caused an avalanch that just missed my party as we all ran for shelter. The Chocolate Mountains are already being used as bombing sites and cause enough problems on their own. Why can't all the military activity be centered on these mountains instead. It's remote, no one goes in that area much, and most people in that area don't care. Leave the Central Coast quiet and alone.
Bill Bradshaw
One of three registered tree hugging Republicans in existance.


The Navy needs to rethink its plans.

We will help them do that. A resounding *No!* to the bombing range. Hunter-Liggett should be turned into a park and preserve.
Michael L. Taylor
Berkeley, CA


I think that the navy has ABSOLUTELY no right to impede on our beloved Mother planet's life, much less any other such beautiful place. I believe that the navy is in the wrong to the greatest possible extent, and needs to put their 'big guns' away and work on something a good bit more peaceful. If they want a bombing range, then they should make one themselves in a safe location, not bomb a beautiful area which is home to countless different forms of wildlife.
Echartea Tangmiron
Reynoldsburg, OH


It is very sad that the US Navy can even consider bombing runs on this site. This is clearly a beautiful wilderness, and shuold be cherished as such, not spoiled with noise and bombs. Though I live in England, if there is anything - anything at all - that I can do to help your campaign - please let me know.
Martin Walker
County Durham
United Kingdom


As a visitor and potential Big Sur resident, that the Navy's plan is wrong-headed, dangerous and destructive.
Julian H. Fisher, MD
Brookline, MA


It's an excellent idea to stop this bombing practice range.

I'm convinced that these military jet aircraft will make noise that carries far and will disrupt what's left of the tranquil beauty of Big Sur.
Paul Loida
Oakland, CA


That there are other, less precious, perhaps already spoiled areas, that could be used!
Lynn Edmonds

The thought of invading this area is obscene and insane.
Barbara Papa
Upland, Ca

I have read with concern reports in responsible British newspapers that the US Navy proposes to set up a bombing range for its aircraft on the edge of Big Sur.

My wife and I come to California from time to time to visit old friends who live in the State and we always spend one or two days exploring the incredibly beautiful Big Sur coastline. We are dismayed to learn that the proposed bombing range is likely to generate some 3,000 practice sorties a year. We understand that a US Navy spokesman has said that this "only" means "... Four flights a day of three F/A-18s each, which is 12 sorties a day, five days a week....". But to us this means the violent sound of jet-engines will shatter the calm of one of the most beautiful parts of the United States at unpredictable times during five days out of seven. Both the sound and the sight of jet-aircraft flying overhead will inevitably destroy its sense of peace and one's appreciation of the natural beauty of this area.

We are not of course US citizens, but we hope you will recognise that our concern comes from our hope that a beautiful part of America can be preserved for the enjoyment not just of US citizens but of well-wishers from other countries. We feel confident that a country with the space and other resources of the United States can find other areas which can both serve your legitimate needs for military training and at the same time will leave undisturbed the peace and beauty of Big Sur itself.
Mr and Mrs John Roots


It is a shame how much damage we are causing to our ecology. This is a beautiful place, let's not turn it into a war zone.

This is ludicrous. I want to be able to bring my children here in the years to come to share this magical place with them. There has to be other areas besides this incredible valley. What about the 1,000's of acres in Nevada where the temps are so hot, there are not many lving creatures including humans that live there. There has to be other options.
Surely we've got an uninhabited desert somewhere for the Navy to practise bombing. I'm sorry to hear bombing requires so much practise.
Solveig Shearer

Please stop this insane idea of implementing test bombing practices in the San Antonio Valley in Big Sur.

Is this what we've come to? Jet fighter planes and smoke bombs in our most glorious wilderness areas?

The San Antonio Valley should be protected as a cultural and ecological reserve, and ALL fighter bombing practices and activities should be banned from proceeding in this unique area.
Juliet Lamont
Berkeley, CA

this proposal is outrageous. I visited Big Sur while on holiday in claifornia three years ago and for me it has an outstanding combination of beauty, wilderness and tranquility which must not be compromised. The United States has a duty to enhance and protect its most outstanding natural assets - failure to do so would signal a complete disregard for the environment and the values associated with it.
Paul Lewis
Sandy Beds

To all Government Officials -- Why are you all so afraid of the world that you have to spend tons of taxpayers money with all these bombing ranges/exercises on God given natural and unspoiled natural resources to protect our society. If we as a society do not get involved or interfere with other countries, then there would be no need for us to try to defend ourselves and the world. Leave the world alone and this will help you leave God's greatest gift to us (our precious and pristine natural resources). The Big Sur area is one of the most magnificent and pristine areas to visit and live in and please don't destroy the serenity, peace and tranquil of this great piece of property. Take a trip to this magnificent place and see for yourself, how wonderful God's earth is and how much we need to keep it as natural as possible to balance our ECO system. Thank you,
Julian Prabhu
Huntington Beach, CA


If we continue to disrespect the beauty of California, it will cease to be beautiful.

Why ruin one of the most pristine areas left?
Aimee Aver
Redwood Shores, CA


The Navy can practice bomb drops over water in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and in the Gulf of Mexico, & at their Nevada ranges. A pristine, scenic CA wilderness area (home to many T&E species) is NOT an appropriate site for bomb drops!
Lisa Carlson
Roseville, CA


For the past fifty years our federal government has had the pleasure of taking much of our beautiful coastlines and destroying them. Far from the mountains of Lassen County to the beaches of San Diego, our military systematically destroys what they are meant to protect whilst abroad. Such a beautiful location such as Big Sur is a travesty. The military should be both ashamed and disgusted with its performance domestically with the general public in the past twenty odd years. Arrogance such as this goes to show why!!
Oliver Carter
Humboldt, California


Ithink the idea is pure insanity. What the hell is the Navy thinking? There are plenty of existing training range areas in the US, established decades ago, that are already covered with practice bombs. Furthermore, the infrastructures are already in place to support their training needs. This proposal seems like they are doing it "as a matter of convenience" not as a training necessity.
Bob Barry
Peoria, AZ

Please listen to Us! As a group We are a part of the Government, and We say "NO!" to this assult upon land which We have defended with our lives in order to preserve and enjoy it with our precious Freedom.
Michael Card
Portland, OR

It is UNBELIEVABLE that someone thinks that using Big Sur for jet fighter bombing practice is OK. Many of us use Big Sur for quiet, peaceful recreation and appreciation of nature away from the sounds and sights of civilization. It is totally unacceptable to use this wilderness area for Navy exercises.
Kathryn Kocurek, MD
San Francisco

We just returned from a trip to CA that included several days at the Big Sur Lodge. This is one of the most beautiful, pristine, QUIET places on earth, and it would be a tragedy to mar that with Navy bombing.

Please do not allow this proposed bombing range to go through.
Laura Cordts and Shawn Seymour Potsdam, Potsdam, NY


I am a Navy veteran and proud that I have served my country. Please do not make me ashamed of being asscoiated with such an outrageous plan.
David A. Leo
Upland, CA


have read about the Navies planned practice bombing range in 'the Guardian newspaper'. Thursday 5th July.

I have been visiting the Big Sur area for over 15 years. It is the nearest thing to heaven, a real spiritual home for my wife and I. I consider the Navy's plans would remove one the worlds greatest areas of peace from our planet. Please feel free to use this quote if it will help your campaign
David Harrison


I live in San Diego. My wife and I went to Monterey for vacation and I believe the drive up there is some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I actually miss it even though I only saw it for a week. Why waste some of the most beautiful scenery in the world for bombing practice.
Josh & Heather Bruton
Fallbrook, CA

I have had my most profound wilderness experiences in this area. It nurtured and healed me in times of great pain. Protect this land or why waste time. Just blow up the whole world.
Joanne De Palma
New York, N

I've been lucky enough to visit the Big Sur area several times over the past 10 years. In my travels across the United States, this area stands out as one of the most beautiful and pristine environments I've encountered. Protect it at all costs.
Dan McGregor


I am a born Big Sur resident and oppose the issue of bombing. Fort Hunter Liggett appears to be a more suitable environment. Bombing the San Antonio Valley would destroy wildlife, as well as cultural heritage sites of the Salinan native Americans. Please respect the wishes of all residents and Indigenous peoples.
Jesse Smollett Phelps
Sm CA 90450


Surely there is a better place or a better way to practice bombing missions then in such a beautiful place as Big Sur? Even inexpensive home gaming consoles are starting to produce realistic flight simulations, so why not simulate bombing runs instead? And if real runs are truly necessary, at least use a land more desolate.
Chris Dragon

The Big Sur area is one of our national treasures. It would be irreparably harmed by this use.
Taylor Martin
Menlo Park

the native american's have suffered enough...and nature is preciousSharla Berryhill
Searcy, AR


The thought of the US Navy using a site of such archaeological and historical, not to mention ecological importance saddens me. Does the US military not conduct any studies on the impact of such proposals? Do they just pick a site that is not densely populated and decide it would be appropriate?

The natural beauty of this planet is being destroyed fast enough. Please urge everyone you know to write their Senator about this ridiculous proposal.
C. Park
Redwood City, CA


What a moronic idea! Hopefully, the power of the people can stop this before it's too late.
Diane Schwanbeck
Ben Lomond, CA

I believe this wilderness must be preserved as a silent witness to the presence of Christ in our world.
Tom Rauch

As federal undertaking the US Navy must conform to the Section 106 process of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (revised as of late) for dealing with cultural resources such as the Salinan Nation's heritage sites and Mission San Antonio de Padua. The cost of such a mitigation in an area with so many known and likely unrecognized sites should be prohibitive. The Navy would be better served to engage in these training runs elsewhere or possible rethink the necessity of them at all.
Ben Ford
Providence, RI

My husband used to say about San Antonio Mission: "This place is deafeningly quiet." It would be a shame to destroy these sacred areas with noise.
Joanna Godwin Rice
Los Angeles, CA
I am a distant relative of Jimmy Doolittle. It sickens me that our family name would be attached to such a horrible project. Please do not disturb this wilderness area.
Diane Benjamin
Minneapolis, MN

I have never visited Big Sur but have read about it and seen pictures.It seems to be a special and beautiful place.If any of it is destroyed you will not be able to replace it.Why would the navy want to do that? You have got a big country, why can't they practice their bombing somewhere else? I hope they come to their senses and leave it alone and let the people who appreciate Big Sur enjoy it.
West Sussex


the peace and serenity of this area must be left as is.
Rev. John Donato, CSC
University of Portland
Portland, OR


This is a grotesque idea.
Robert D. Gilman
San Francisco, CA

This proposal is nothing short of insanity, an unspeakable environmental horror this act of aggression and descration. No longer a retreat to solitude and spiritual renewal. They've lost their minds.
Jane Palmer Bourke
San Francisco, California

There should be Absolutely No Bombs Dropped anywhere for any purpose! I live at the North side of the Santa Lucias and spend time in them. I am concerned about the impact of practice bombing the area.
Sara Hunsaker
Carmel Valley CA


The Big Sur area is a unique natural resource to California and all Americans. We should protect this resource and not disturb the ecology of these areas.
H. Douglas Huskey
Santa Cruz, CA

I am extremely upset that the Navy is considering bombing practice near the Big Sur coast, especially since it's close to Tassajara which is a religious training center and retreat. The noise and the inherent meaning of bombs would be disruptive to a quiet and beautiful wilderness area where all people can seek solitude in the company of nature. Please carefully consider the negative impact this would cause. Thank you.
Laurie Jiobu
Los Angeles, CA

This area is pristine and peaceful. The current military activity is already intrusive. any more, particularly jets and bombs, would destroy this place of peace.
Rev. Mary Mocine
Vallejo, CA

The peaceful silence of the monestary would be shattered by this facility.

I strongly oppose the use of this very special area as a training ground for fighter jets.
Lynnette Eldredge


We had better practice more wisdom and less immediate gratification on our decisions as a nation. Why kill the golden goose (our environment)? We'll need the eggs of tomorrow to live on.
Patricia Lemucchi



Although I realise the need for defence the world over, my son is an officer in the Royal Navy; I believe the Big Sur area is so beautiful and peaceful it should be left unspoilt. I believe there must be many other localities more suitable for this essential testing than the Big Sur area. As a visitor to your shores I hope you manage to keep intact and peaceful what I believe to be the most beautiful place I have been to in the world. Good luck.
Ann Coxall
Borrett Close


the navy is destroyed our planet same as vieques in PR.

bad for the other americans in which the hate this action.
vicky otiniano
san juan, pr


This beautiful and unique area should be protected and preserved and not subjected to the noise and possible destruction of habitat that the proposed bombing practice would entail.

For many years my husband and I have enjoyed the serenity of the Camaldolese Monastery and the surrounding area. It would be wrong to disturb this pristine environment.
Mary Anne Kirsch
Paso Robles, CA


Sorties should stop immediately. Heard them when I visited New Camaldoli August 21, 2001
Richard Schiblin
Oakland, CA


"We must repudiate one of the two, either Christianity with its love of God and one's neighbor, or the state and its armies and wars." -- Leo

Tolstoy, Address to the Swedish Peace Conference, 1909
Brother Geronimo
Washington, DC


It is not in the interests of the residents of California's Central Coast or in the interests of national security to train bomber pilots on Fort Hunter-Liggett. Please stop planning a bombing range for the Navy at this location.
Wyatt Portz
Monterey, CA

There is no need to do this.
L. J. C. Olivier

Can't a more suitable location be found &endash; one that is less disruptive to the environment and to cultural and spiritual centers?
Barbara Bridge
West Linn, OR

The skill a fighter pilot may acheive is not worth the distruction his bombing rampage may cause. Especially if he may be discharged from service in a few years, never having fought in a battle.
Alexander F. Mackenzie
Salinas, CA

My husband is Robert Bruce Gregory, Jr. His Salinan heritage comes down thru his mother, Harriet Carrera Gregory,(who has been a Salinan Tribal Elder), thru her GIL FAMILY line. Her great grandfather, Jose Maria Gil married Maria, a Salinan neophyte woman. Jose built an adobe structure in Jolon, now being preserved as a "Historic Place". Seems this adobe house was fortunate in that it was "saved" from destruction by the military bombing and other practices. Even the small cemetery for the Gil family was in being vandalized until Harriet stepped in and saw to it that the military put up a protective fence around this sacred site! It would be a disaster and a travesty to have his ancestral homeland further damaged by those who don't care, and don't have any interest in preserving valuable historic, environmental and sacred areas. How would they like it if someone came in to their home,or their back yard, with its pretty garden and fruit trees and flowers and started using it for bombing practice? Well, the same idea applies to the Jolon area. We hope that enough pressure can be applied to stop the nonsense, and be protected as it should be.
Kathy Gregory
Wildomar, CA


We visit this area several times a year and I would hate to have our peaceful enjoyment of the lovely wilderness area destroyed.
Robyn Lounsbury
San Francisco, CA

This Navy "project" needs to be stopped immediately! Bombing our incredible coastal range is out of the question!
Kathy Robles
Walnut Creek, CA


it is an abomination to expose a vast territory of such beauty and peace. The toys of war can play somewhere else, but wouldn't it be nice not at all
wayne lobue
novelty, ohio
Companies and government need to look at were they implement projects to see if it's feasable. To have practice right near a monastary is not feasable
Jeanne Bergeron
Lafayette LA

Please do not allow another wonderful piece of this world be destroyed by human stupidity.
mary wilson

There are plenty of other places to bomb, or continue bombing practice, besides a serene place such as this. How much longer can we sacrifice our eco-system for fucking warfare, our money for destruction, and essentially life for death??
Michael Smiser
Austin, TX
Please do not allow the government to ruin one of our most precious environmental and historical treasures. I thank you & so does mother nature and all her wonderful creations.

Misty Breaux
Austin, TX

This is an ill-conceived, environmentally disastrous, and heartbreaking plan. This area is too rich in wildlife, native culture, and spiritual sanctuary to use it as a target area for tens of thousands of bombs. WHAT is the Navy thinking?! Please stop this action at once.
Nina Rene Soreco
Mt. View, CA

The Navy should not be permitted to proceed with a jet fighter bombing range in San Antonio Valley in Big Sur. San Antonio Valley should be protected as a cultural and ecological reserve.
Kimberly Jones
Mountain View, CA
The Navy can afford to fly elsewhere, like an existing range.
Tarlac Williams
Austin TX

The intent of the Federal Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964 includes a call for solitude in designated wilderness areas: "(2) [a wilderness area] has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation;". The noise impacts of this plan for bombing adjacent to the Ventana Wilderness Area would significantly impact the opportunities for solitdue and silence in this important Wilderness Area. I urge the Navy to reconsider this plan.

Tim Burnett
Bellingham, WA

I am a Zen student, have lived at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and plan to return there. I have hiked in the Ventana Wilderness which is a rare and precious place, a sanctuary for creatures and people. I look forward to working together to protect this place from the Navy's misguided plan.
Seguin Spear
San Francisco CA

This is a truely rediculous idea by people who have no appreciation for our National treasures. The Navy is in existance to protect our country, not bomb it!
Sunny Chancellor
San Francisco

They should stay in Fallon where a whole community depends on them and not destroy this pristine area with sound pollution.
Lynda Sayre
Big Sur, CA

The historical meaning and ecological value as well as the current uses in the area for spiritual retreats, recreation areas and habitat for endangered species make this land valuable to hundreds of thousands of people. This land is irreplacable and should not be destroyed when there are other alternatives that don't involve destroying some of the most beautiful land in North America. We cannot allow the Navy to destroy this precious land.
Sarah Romo
Claremont CA

Karin Huetter
Walnut Creek, CA


it is a disgrace to treat people and land with such disrespect.
Stefanie Wenke

The plan to "practice bomb" the Big Sur area is ludricous. It is a beautiful place like nothing else in the country. The peace and tranquility of the Big Sur region should not be disturbed by military activities. Big Sur is a place where people go to relax and play with their children to escape the stress of city life. Not only will this military activity disturb the residents of the humble community of Big Sur and the surrounding area but it will destroy an outlet for numerous local families to escape city life and the crowds of the Monterey Peninsula, not to mention the wildlife which would have to endure and be partially destroyed by such activities from the military. The Big Sur area is a true haven for my family and me as I am sure it is for many other countless people in this area of Californa.

The spiritual vibration in the Big Sur area is unmatched by any other I have ever experienced and should not be disturbed or destroyed by this proposed military training activity.
Cindy Salow
Seaside, CA

It is irresponsible for us to continue to build up arms for our country, when we should be sending food to countries much less fortunate than we are.

Also, to continually destroy God's precious creation of our world, completely throwing off the balance of the way things are, and for future generations , is something we are all going to pay the price for, as we also continually destroy countless lives through war, when we should be working towards world peace, liberty, equality, and justice for ALL of our brothers and sisters. God's peace, love, and justice will prevail!!!
P. A. Mahoney
Skyland , NC


I oppose the bombing of San Antonio Valley and hope that with the right balance of spritual and intellectual commitment we can formulate a synergy able to raise the social consciousness of our friends and neighbors.

Our nation faces troubled times but we can't allow this to obscure the fundamental truth that we all need quiet places to reflect and celebrate life.
Ruben Salcedo


The placing of a Navy fighter plane base in the Big Sur region and behind New Camaldoli Hermitage is irresponsible and unthoughtful on two counts: first, the environmental impact will be devastating and second, the life of contemplative silence provided by the hermitage is also integral to the national security in the sense that it creates a space for compassion so necessary in both peace and in times judged as times of war. Other locations should be consiered.

Every area will have its objections but this location is, in a special way, not thought through. I at present live near an air force base and I know first hand the impact such noise can have on a community and its well being. A desert location might be more appropriate, especially for running training missions.
Edward Emery
Northampton MA

Please do not destroy the sanctity of this area for the purpose of building another military base and training exercises!

We live in a delicate balance with all that exists in nature. Jet planes and bombs will erode the ecosystem and permanently alter the harmony of the region and its multitude of inhabitants.
Valorie Knutson
Hermosa Beach, CA

This is a ridiculous plan to destroy such a beautiful place.
Robin Hull
Calabasas, CA
No! No! No!
Mark A. Solbach
Stockton, CA


I have relatives and friends who have served in the military and understand, especially with the current threat our country faces, why the Navy could have need for a bombing range.

But aren't there more appropriate alternatives? I have visited many of our national parks. To me, this area is one of our greatest national treasures, which should be preserved for all to enjoy in coming generations. I hope to have the opportunity to share it with my children and grandchildren.
Stephen Corbett
Kensington, MD

In the context of the savage terrorist attack which happened about 50 miles from my home, let's give the monks their propoer solitude so that they can help unleash the power of prayer for our nation. Thanks for your kind attention to this matter.
Rev. Joseph W. Staudt
Christ the King Church
Commack, N.Y.

Our precious wildlife and natural resources in the Stoney Valley of San Antonio Valley will be placed at great risk by the activities involved with the Navy's planned use of it as a "target range" for practice bombs. The idea of a bombing range in this irreplaceble piece of California wilderness is incomprehensible.

If we are to save what little of our beautiful country's natural heritage remains, there must be some respect displayed for our earth and its creatures. How could anyone plan such a travesty as this?

For the sakes of all of our children and for this living planet, let this bombing range proposal not go forward.
Martha Milne
Fort Myers, FL

This fascination with the military should stop.
Carolyn Straub
San Jose, CA
After visiting this area in September of 1999 I truly think this is "God's Country". Our currency reads "In God We Trust", if we trust in him how can we possibly destroy his beautiful creation?
Farmington Hills
Please do not destroy the peace, the beauty, the silence, the sacredness of Big Sur. It is Holy Ground for so many!
Carol Beevers
Oaklyn, NJ

This is a precious resource unique in the world. Disturbing the land and it's inhabitants of every species will rob our people of the opportunity to experience this unique setting.
Marcelina Delgadillo
Berkeley, CA

I am a lifelong California resident, and also an American and a patriot. I have the highest regard for our military and quite accept the need for it.

However, a bombing training zone in the proposed area is not at all appropriate or acceptable. California is the most populous state in the Union and has an ever increasing need for open space for it's harried residents, with more and more residents and less and less space. To impune the pristine and historical nature of these environs as proposed would be terribly costly to the quality of life of California residents and visitors. The hinter lands of California, Nevada, and Utah deserts are where this deserves to occur, which also provide valley configurations to train in. Leave the San Antonio and Ventana wildernesses as they are.
Dave Evans
Saratoga, CA

The San Antonio Valley is a precious piece of California. It's use as an airport of any type is would be a tragedy for California. Please do not allow the Navy this most beautiful piece of land for fighter practice.

Paul Knutsen
Sacramento, CA

The United States urgently needs to preserve and strengthen the silence of the San Antonio Valley. Its cultural artifacts and delicate ecology should be cherished, not bombed. Its use by the Navy as a bombing range would be a terrible desecration of a sacred place.
Joan Maxwell
Washington, DC

To support life, God's creation, it does not make ense to interrupt what is good to destroy what is not good. The silence of a hermitage and the natural beauty around Big Sur are precious resources for the supprt of life in its core, and so I add my voice to others whose desire the preservation of what is good in the lives of citizens, in addition to protecting, as the USN certainly wants to do, the lives themselves.
sue wick
Duluth MN

this is a very poor usage of resources. This area is one of my most favorite areas in the world- primarily because of what wildness it retains. Jet planes are not wild and do not belong there.
Michelle Ellashek
Phoenix, Az

why destroy land and wilderness? I dont get it. these bombs will also efect the rivers and eventualy the ocean. the U.S. Navey should try to find better, less inportant areas, that dont have the great value of this certin area in california. I have been to places close to the "proposed" area (in quotes because i strongly hope it never hapens) and it is such a spectacular place. a geologest from the Woods Hole Ocianagraphic Institute once said, "a butterfly lands on a tree. now the tree has been their along time, say 100 yrs. now the butterfly,witch only lives about 8 days, remarkes that hes been on the tree his whole life, and the tree hasn't moved." That's kind of the same thing. the tree hasnt moved per/say, but has grown. just like every thing around it. animals live there; its their home. unless the U.S. Navy claims to be the IRS or something like that, i dont think that they sould even think once, that they have the right to even try to take and use this area for bomb practice.
Missoula Mt

There are better places for such practice training missions. I don't see why the need such a special, place.
Matt Carter
Santa Rosa CA

We need to preserve the natural beauty of Big sur and San Antonio Valley.

There are not very many treasures like these left in the United States, and we musn't use it for more military use. We want to save nature, not destroy it.
Geraldine Santos
San francisco, Ca


if these military exercises must take place, can they not take place somewhere else, which is not so enviromentally fragile?
Dave Johannsen
San Diego, ca


the very concept of bombing runs anywhere near the immaculate heart hermitage of the camaldoli is sacrilige. have the people who make these decisions no sense of the sacred? my prayers are for the sacred and holy land. no bombing runs!
sister assunta maria (femia), o.c.
sunny valley, oregon


This is HORRIBLE! Who, what sort of people, would put a naval training air base in the middle of the most serene, quiet, beautiful setting of California Oak trees in existence.

These trees have limbs larger in diameter than I am tall.

I cannot believe that any such project would be permitted to go forward.

I will participate in any process that would bring such a proposal to a complete and immediate stop.

I and my wife were just there this week end --- we make pilgrimages to this Naciemento region 4 times a year.
Jeffrey Anderson, RN, MS
Redondo Beach, CA


What a classic struggle. After 9-11-01, is there not a need for more peaceful places to pray and less training for violence. The world needs places like this!
Kyle Gott
San Juan Capistrano, Ca


The proposed Navy base at Big Sur, California is an outrage against a peaceful and beautiful environment; a true national treasure. The prayers at nearby spiritual centers and monasteries may very well be one of the few powers keeping our nation from destruction. The Navy jets will destroy all of this with their noise and other pollutions.
Thomas R. Gustie
Oregon House, CA 95962


That to establish this jet fighter bombing range is an assault, not only to the beautiful and peaceful environment in San Antonio Valley, it is a direct violation of the peace, contemplation, and religious freedom of New Camadoli Hermitage adjacent to the proposed bombing range. The Camaldolese Monks rely on the silence of their environment. This range will destroy that silence. I urge you NOT to allow this to occur.
Jonathan D. Phillips
Cincinnati, OH


A bombing range in the vicinity of a monastery? Doesn't everyone see the absurdity in this proposal? Just once I would like to see our government act with sensibility and humane consciousness.

As a casualty of the miltary cutbacks in the early 1990s, I can't believe the government needs to destroy new land and disrupt more lives. Serious RE-consideration needs to be given to this proposal.
Kelly Gartman
Monterey, CA


What an outrage to have our own government assault such a pristine area. Of all places! What were they THINKING? Perhaps this is the problem....they DON'T think.

The Big Sur area is for all to enjoy and that is why much of the area is protected. Millions of people come from all over the world to revel in this natural beauty. There is only ONE Big Sur. For once, perhaps the government could use some sense.
Ellen Gachesa
Aptos, CA



This should be stopped. Places of sanctuary and beauty - sacred places - should not be used in such ways.
Jason Farmer
Los Angeles, CA

This is an atrocity! The historical value of this land should be preserved, not shaken apart. This area is significant to the state, national and church history and I'm sickened that the government has sought it out.
Carol Dodds
Yuba City, CA
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