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Critic blasts Clark County's facility

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Dec 20, 2009.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Critic blasts Clark County

    Critic blasts new county facility, which began 'soft opening' Saturday

    Las Vegas Review-Journal

    Daniel Markoff's Revolutionary War-era rifle boomed and spit powdery smoke as he fired at a target in the north valley's new shooting park.

    Markoff, 61, poured gunpowder from a horn-shaped holder into the rifle's 42-inch barrel, then used a metal rod to pack it down.

    He took aim and fired again, the belching smoke briefly shrouding the rugged Sheep Range in the distance.

    To his right, three men were fine-tuning the sights on their modern assault rifles.

    "I think this is really nice," Markoff said of Clark County's new shooting park, which opened Saturday north of where Decatur Boulevard ends. "We really outdid ourselves. I see national matches being held here."

    The 2,900-acre park's $61 million first phase includes a pistol and rifle range, trap-and-skeet fields for shotguns, an archery center, an education center and a main office.

    Several hundred gun enthusiasts were expected to trickle in and out during a debut that county officials called a soft opening because the park will have weekend hours only for at least three weeks. The park is expected to go full-time by mid-January when a large event is scheduled.

    It was a day that supporters eagerly awaited -- some for 25 years -- and critics dreaded. Dozens of neighbors say the shooting park will disrupt their lives and decrease their property values.

    They sued the county and tried to force an injunction, but a federal judge dismissed most of their claims earlier this year and ruled that the project could proceed.

    Tyson Wrench, a fierce opponent, said he was puzzled as to how the county could open the park while the Bureau of Land Management is in the midst of a 45-day review for an environmental assessment.

    "So obviously the county thinks it's above the law," Wrench said. "It blows me away."

    He likened it to building a skyscraper on land being surveyed.

    Wrench said he wanted to muster a protest but many of the disgruntled residents are out of town for the holidays. He questioned whether county officials timed the opening to when neighbors' opposition might be less likely.

    Don Turner, the shooting park manager, denied such stratagems. The county is opening it now simply because the work is finished, he said.

    Turner said there's a lingering misunderstanding about the BLM's environmental assessment. It's complex, he said.

    In 2003, Congress transferred 2,900 acres of federal land to the county. BLM told the county to do an environmental assessment, which is routine for most land transfers, Turner said.

    The county spent $500,000 on the assessment, he said. A local BLM official looked at the report and concluded that no more environmental studies were needed.

    Trouble was, BLM never wrote a formal letter stating that the project will cause no significant impact, Turner said. This omission gave residents ammunition in court several years later when they claimed an inadequate study was done.

    In response to the neighbors' complaint, a federal judge in May ordered BLM to double-check the county's findings and issue the statement of no impact, Turner said.

    BLM chose to do a full assessment in August. The agency received 1,046 comments, most of them positive, said Hillerie Patton, BLM spokeswoman.

    However, several comments prompted the agency to take a closer look at factors it didn't consider before, she said.

    So this week BLM began an updated assessment that will include 45 days of public comment through Jan. 29, she said.

    It's highly unusual for BLM to assess land it no longer owns, Patton said. Because the county owns the land, BLM has no authority to tell the county not to open the shooting park, she said.

    On Saturday, the park's shooters didn't care about past disputes. They concentrated on the targets in front of them.

    Two teenage brothers had fun shooting a Yugoslavian rifle.

    Kristopher Trajano, 14, who learned to shoot three years ago, said he liked that the park is close to their North Las Vegas home.

    "We're going to come here, maybe every weekend if we can," Vincent Trajano, 16, said.

    Craig Williams, 48, fired three high-powered rifles.

    "I think it's a beautiful facility," Williams said "It's something we've needed for a long time."

    Having a professionally run complex like this is much safer than people shooting every which way in the desert, Williams said.

    "This is very controlled, safe," agreed Bob Engelhardt, 47, a Pahrump resident and friend of Williams. "I don't have to worry about the guy sitting beside me."

    The range these men used had 60 targets with a bullet-stopping berm behind them. Each space for shooting is equipped with a table to aid in steadying the firearms.

    The shotgun range has 25 target areas. Only a few people were there Saturday afternoon. The archery center was empty.

    Last year, the county conducted a sound test that showed the gunfire noise at the closest properties fell below the 56 decibel level allowed. The park's opponents weren't convinced.

    At the barricaded end of Jones Boulevard, where the homes are among the closest to the park, no gunfire was audible Saturday. About 100 yards past the barricade, where no houses stand, faint popping could be heard.

    Wrench has said that residents worry how noisy the park will become when a .50-caliber range and other shooting areas are added. But he said his comrades are becoming disheartened.

    "I have no idea what we're going to do," Wrench said. "There's only so much of a beating we can take."

    Contact reporter Scott Wyland at swyland@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/shooters-test-out-new-park-79750277.html
     
  2. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of the Geist residents around the Indiana Gun Club.
     
  3. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    If they don't like the noise let them move ... I have not seen it but plan on seeing the facility sometime in the spring when I go back to Las Vegas to visit some of my money ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  4. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    The hypocracy..are residents and "powers that be" upset regarding all the water that Vegas takes from the ground and from Lake Mead? I believe there is another project going on to take more water from Lake Mead. But, you know, adding a little noise and metal to the desert, non-radioactive metal is really bad.
     
  5. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    On a $61M facility they did a $500K study and still the anti's howl for their agenda driven "rights". When we talk about tort reform, I'd like to see the obstructionists have to put up the money for these wasteful "studies", and costs incurred because of the delays. grrrr.....mike
     
  6. shooter66

    shooter66 TS Member

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    The only thing that rings bad in that arctle is the talk of forgien built high powered rifles. To the uneducated that screams "fully automatic assault rifles" even thought Im sure thats not the case. But it will add fuel to the anti's fire.

    I personaly think its great to see new faclities opening up.
     
  7. Cobra Khan

    Cobra Khan Member

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    Mr. Poore has hit the nail on the head, this nation needs tort reform and needs it now! In todays world, any person can file a law suit against anyone else for any reason.

    Example; If I don't like the color of your hair, I can find an attorney to represent me on a contingency basis (I think I will choose Matt Callister from Las Vegas) and file a law suit that asks the judge to force you to 1) dye your hair to another color, and 2) pay my attorney fees (as Mr. Callister would be working on a contingency basis) for having to file suit against you.

    You would have to either 1) settle the case and change the color of your hair prior to court which perhaps would save you most of my attorney fees or 2) defend yourself by hiring yourself an attorney to fight my lawsuit. If the judge sides with you and overturns my law suit, your recourse would then be to counter sue for your defense fees and obtain a judgement against me.

    So here is the trick; prior to having Mr. Callister file my law suit I will form a front company to be the plaintiff, I'll call my front company 'Bad Hair, LLC'. I won't put any money in Bad Hair, LLC, just in case you do win a counter suit against me. As such, there will not be any assets for you to take to satisfy your defense fees should you win! No loose situation for me!
     
  8. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    I sure hope that someday they have competition shooting of all kinds. I believe that Clark has the opportunity to be the best gun club ever built. On a city born from the tourist trade the boat will be missed if competitive shooting is shunned. I'm going up there soon and see the place. Vickie and Tom Larkin says it's incredible. Gotta see it.
     
  9. Cobra Khan

    Cobra Khan Member

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    It is not that CCSP is against having registered competitive tournaments at their club, in fact they are very much in favor of them. The problem is that they don't want to be the host of any tournament, they just want to sell targets to an outside tournament promoter or association. It would then be upon the tournament promoter to assume all of the risks in hosting the tournament, which would be fine if the price was right. Unfortunately the price of the targets plus all of the other little expenses that CCSP requires of the tournament host currently makes it unfeasible.
     
  10. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    tomato - tomato
     
  11. John Thompson

    John Thompson TS Member

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    I'll bet Mr. Wrench has voted a straight Democatic ticket his entire life, that is,if he votes. Once again, the only ones profitting are the attorneys. Yes, Shakespear was correct, "first we must kill all the attorneys"
     
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