When an Air Force survival school searched for a spot to teach pilots how to build fires in a rainforest, it landed on one of the wettest, darkest locations in the continental United States.

“Twilight” fans can guess the spot. The Air Force picked a state-managed forest outside Forks, securing permission to stoke campfires for nine days in protected woods near the Calawah River.

“I understand that fire is an integral part of their survival training and an important part of surviving in a rainforest,” an official with the state Department of Natural Resources wrote in granting the request.

A review of a decade’s worth of special use permits shows federal and state officials have a long tradition of granting military requests to use public forests for unusual training events.

Usually, no one notices.

But that run of uncontested training is coming to an end as the military simultaneously pursues three high-profile requests to use land for events that have the potential to put much more hardware on the ground in remote places.

Thousands of people have written letters protesting the plans, and one movement even appealed to the United Nations for help in blocking a Navy proposal.

“I’m not against, at all, any military training. However, it is very disturbing when training happens on public lands that are supposedly protected,” said Connie Gallant of the Olympic Forest Coalition, an activist who has been fighting the Navy proposals with public outreach that has drawn protests from all over the world.