Public Comments on Military Overflights Over the Gila Region

Holloman Air Force Base

124th_fighter_squadron_f-16_87-230

Holloman Air Force Base is considering expansion of its Special Use Airspace for training of F-16 fighter pilots over Silver City, the Gila National Forest and Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Areas.

Encompassing the nation’s first wilderness area and New Mexico’s last wild river, the Gila Region attracts retirees, outdoor recreation and tourism from throughout the U.S. and internationally. Holloman’s proposed action will impact the environment and wildlife and significantly degrade the rural character and quiet solitude of this unique area, impacting real estate values, outdoor recreation, tourism, and the local economy. The Gila Region, Alternative #2, should not be considered a viable option for Special Use Airspace.

Sponsored by

To: Holloman Air Force Base
From: [Your Name]

Please consider the following public comments on the Holloman Air Force Base Special Use Airspace Optimization Environmental Impact Statement.

I oppose expansion of Holloman’s Special Use Airspace over Silver City, the Gila National Forest, and Gila/Aldo Leopold Wilderness Areas. Holloman's proposed action will significantly degrade the rural character and quiet solitude of this unique area, impacting real estate values, outdoor recreation, tourism, and the local economy. The Gila Region, Alternative #2, should not be considered a viable option for Special Use Airspace.

NEPA requires that federal agencies make all interested and affected parties aware of proposed actions. I strongly encourage the Air Force to hold a public input meeting in Silver City on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) when available.

Holloman needs to provide the public with adequate information to fully understand the proposed action and alternatives, including detailed maps of the expanded airspace.

The DEIS should analyze fully the impacts of noise and sonic booms on humans, wildlife, livestock, outdoor recreation, tourism, and the local economy. The DEIS should also analyze the human health, wildlife, livestock and water quality impacts from the use of chaff and flares. The DEIS should estimate the increased risk of wildfire due to use of flares and how that risk would be mitigated. The air quality impacts from jet emissions should also be evaluated.

Thank you for consideration of my comments.