Letters to the Editor

Fite letter: F-35 mission

Hellish F-35 noise threatens Idaho’s wildlife.

Bighorn sheep, sage grouse and other wildlife across the Owyhee and Bruneau-Jarbidge Canyonlands face a serious threat from noxiously loud F-35 warplanes that lobbyists and politicians are seeking to impose on Boise neighborhoods and the wild Owyhee region.

F-35s are eight to 16 times louder than the A-10s currently at Gowen, and twice as loud as current planes based at Mountain Home. Both train in Owyhee region airspace — using flares and chaff, sonic booms, and supersonic flight down to 100 feet above ground level.

Bighorn sheep are very sensitive to noise. A sudden loud noise means a rockslide, inducing panic. If planes avoid canyons, they overfly essential sage grouse and other migratory bird habitats on the plateaus. New grouse studies found many birds abandoned leks exposed to noise, and higher stress hormone levels were found in birds that remained. Low-level F-35 flight will be loud enough to rupture animal eardrums.

Extreme or chronic noise harms animals and/or populations, causing hearing damage, high predation risk, stress, altered behaviors, avoidance of suitable habitat, and communication and reproductive interference.

Speak up for our irreplaceable public lands and wildlife. Oppose F-35s in Idaho.

Katie Fite, Boise