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San Diego Shotgun Sports Silenced

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by chipped1, Oct 17, 2010.

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  1. chipped1

    chipped1 TS Member

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    Looks like some very bad news for those that were working to reopen San Diego Shotgun Sports.

    This article is from the th San Diego Union.


    Shotguns will remain quiet forever at the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association’s trap and skeet range at Miramar in the wake of a Marine Corps decision today to shut the range down.

    The Marine Corps announced that the “range will remain closed and the area will undergo cleanup to remove hazardous substances.” It was closed Oct. 8, 2008 by then Secretary of Navy Donald Winter ordered a ceasefire of all trap and skeet shooting, mostly by civilians.

    The release from the Marines was blunt and said: “Based on comprehensive review and analysis of the facts, circumstances, and legal responsibilities associated with conditions on and around the SDSSA’s former leasehold at MCAS Miramar, the Commandant of the Marine Corps has determined that the environmental clean-up will proceed, the range will remain closed, and alternative facilities are not available aboard MCAS Miramar.”

    The statement went on to say the closure “was brought about by the discovery of significant quantities of lead shot in San Clemente Canyon, an area beyond the leasehold.” The Marines conducted an environmental review of the area, the 29 acres leased and a 13-acre “overshot area,” and identified the toxic lead problem that it says now must be cleaned up.

    Also, the Marines are demanding that the civilian-run Association clean up the lead shot, stating, "Under the stipulation of their lease agreement, and CERCLA section 107, the SDSSA is financially responsible for cleanup of the contaminated areas."

    Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine, was alerted to the Marines’ decision earlier today. He has been working with the civilian Association to get the Marines to reopen the gun range. He directed the Marines to conduct the environmental review as part of an amendment to the defense authorization act. Part of Hunter’s direction was that the Marines open the range as soon as possible, but now that won’t happen. Hunter was told that Marine Corps Commandant General James T. Conway recommended the shooting range be closed, and Secretary Mabus approved the recommendation.

    Association president Robert Keefe said he wouldn’t comment until he confirmed the decision. His Association – its membership down from 750 to 450 since the closure -- has leased the range since 2000. But the range has been on the Miramar base (both Navy and Marines) since 1957, and at its present spot since 1975.

    Joe Kasper, spokesman for Hunter, said the Congressman was deeply disappointed with the military’s decision to close the base’s civilian shooting range. Kasper said Hunter may appeal to Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates on the matter to get the decision to close the range reversed.

    “The decision is disappointing on two levels,” Kasper said. “For one, the Marine Corps is showing its willingness to deny families, service members and veterans access to the range. Secondly, the Marine Corps has an opportunity to save over $20 million by allowing the Association to assume the responsibility for cleanup, something it has offered to do, and manage activity on the range. Keeping the range open under this arrangement would have been a win for the Marine Corps, a win for the Association and a win for the community.”

    Kasper said what is most frustrating about the Marine Corps decision to boot out the Association from their range is that it will cost the Marines millions of valuable defense budget dollars to do environmental studies and then clear out the lead from the range. The Association has a plan in which it will do that at no cost to the military, but still have use of the gun range.

    “What’s frustrating is that the Marine Corps is carrying many funding requirements that are focused on things far more important than environmental cleanup,” Kasper said. “It makes no sense to Congressman Hunter – and anyone else paying attention to this issue – why the Marines would choose to spend here and not on what really matters to Marines and their families.”

    Kasper said Hunter now will, after meeting with Secretary Gates, “consider a variety of legislative options to reopen the range and keep it serving the Marine Corps and the community.”

    “The time frame for action could be later this year or early next year, but, either way, it’s certainly something he’s committed to doing,” Kasper said.

    The Marines’ report indicates the hazardous substances include antimony, arsenic, copper, lead, zinc and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the soil. The report added that the areas affected are “ecologically sensitive areas that include vernal pools occupied by the endangered fairy shrimp and a canyon with a regulated waterway.”

    The Marines’ report states further that the scientific findings were reviewed by California’s lead regulator, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, “which concurred with the findings and with the recommendation to continue to the next step” in the environmental process, the “Remedial Investigation.”

    The bottom line is the Marines determined that “resuming shooting at the existing facility is unfeasible as the extensive cleanup, environmental planning and engineering solutions would negatively impact the air station’s aviation mission.”

    The Marines added that there is no chance of adding a new shooting facility on the air station because it would “cost millions of dollars and commit scarce land to non-military purposes while exposing the Marine Corps to environmental restoration upon the eventual closure of the facility.”

    The Marines have offered the San Diego Shooting Sports Association the use of their range on Camp Pendleton. But SDSSA members say that is not practical due to the remoteness of the range and its smaller size.
     
  2. staynumz

    staynumz Member

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    Bad news for the SD people. Sounds like they have some real putz's running the Marine Corp.
     
  3. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    Still boggles me mind that the Marine Corps would be fundamentally opposed to a shooting range. I am crushed to hear this. I love shooting at Redlands, which I suppose will be my new home club. But that is an 80 mile drive, versus a 17 mile drive to Miramar.
     
  4. chipped1

    chipped1 TS Member

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    With regards to the Marine Corps - They recently closed another range in San Clemente, CA. So they are on a roll this year.
     
  5. BBMAX

    BBMAX TS Member

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    Did anyone think to "Mine" the lead and sell it for reloading? The club could have pocketed a fairly large amount of money. Several clubs out East here have done very well. One club's share was over $100 thousand upon completion of the reclaiming project - others have done even better than that. WAKE UP, there are solutions to these problems.
     
  6. Baber

    Baber TS Member

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    They had no lead abatement plan before this started. The two clubs that I am a member of have them and if Miramar had done the work ten years ago like my clubs did they might have avoided this issue.

    let this be a lesson to all clubs. Do the abatement plant.

    Tom
     
  7. Baber

    Baber TS Member

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    They had no abatement plan. They may have reclaimed it once but they had no written plan filed with the state.


    TB
     
  8. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    The Marines response...

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/oct/18/marines-show-damage-done-shotgun-range/

    Marines show damage done by shotgun range

    For the first time since ordering a ceasefire over two years ago at the civilian shotgun range leased on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the Marines commented on the environmental reasons for silencing the shotguns.

    Miramar Air Station’s commanding officer Col. Frank Richie led a media contingent Monday to the impacted area of San Clemente Canyon adjacent to the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association range. The area is on the south side of the Marine base, off Harris Plant Road.

    Once there, Col. Richie showed the extensive amount of erosion to the hillside bluff that holds the range. Most of the erosion was done last year during heavy rains. He also pointed out the resulting lead shot and other contaminants from the shotguns (like the clay targets) that washed into the seasonal creek. Once there, he said the lead and chemicals have impacted vernal pools, fairy shrimp and the waterway, though intermittent, is regulated and protected.

    “We are 70 yards from the fence that identifies the edge of the range’s leased property, but look at the lead on the ground,” Col. Richie said, pointing to pockets of small BB shot from the range’s shotguns. “They managed the lead on the range, but they haven’t picked up the lead in this overshot area. In 30 years, it has leeched into the soil. It’s not just on the surface like this, but if you peel the grass back, you’ll find it there. The vegetation is laced with lead. And it’s at a depth of two feet, and the lead concentration is 200 times the background level.”

    On Friday, Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus agreed with the Marines’ recommendation to close the range. He ordered that the lease holders, San Diego Shotgun Sports, be liable for the clean-up. It’s been estimated that it will cost between $8 million and $20 million to do the environmental clean-up of the canyon.

    “If all the lead and all the waste were just on the range, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Col. Richie said. “But the range is 29 acres, and the overshot 13 acres that are contaminated are environmentally sensitive areas. It’s a 40-some acre range on a 29-acre plot. Based on what I know about surface danger zones for shotguns, 29 acres wasn’t enough.”

    Col. Richie was asked why the Marines, after they and the Navy have allowed shooting there since 1975, are demanding a clean-up now.

    “In 1975, I was 14 or 15 years old,” he said. “I’m a hunter. I’m a shotgun shooter. I could hunt migratory waterfowl on a regulated waterway with lead shot back then. Since that time, we, the nation, have found that lead is a dangerous substance, especially around ecological systems. I am bound to follow the law.”

    When asked if the Marines would consider allowing the range to remain and clean up the canyon themselves, Col. Richie said that is not an option.

    “I can’t attest to their ability to come in and clean up the lead,” Col. Richie said. “If it’s a lead management plan and it’s cleaning the lead on the surface, I still have a whole lot of other contamination I need to consider on the range, and that’s the earth down to two feet and the regulated waterway that goes to the ocean. The lead now has washed and eroded down to the regulated waterway. There is no water in that stream right now. It’s an intermittent stream, but last year, for about six weeks, after the heavy rain, it was about 20 feet wide and flowing pretty strong.”

    Col. Richie said a water sample taken during the height of the rainy season didn’t show any excess amount of lead in the water.

    Last Friday, when Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus ruled that the range was to be permanently closed, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine, vowed to do what he could to keep the range open. He is considering a meeting with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates or more legislation to keep the range open to civilians.

    Col. Richie said the political part of all this has nothing to do with his orders.

    “That does not concern me,” he said of Hunter’s attempts to reverse the decision. “What I do is follow the law and follow the orders of those appointed over me. Right now Marine Corps senior leadership has said to continue with the cleanup and that’s what I need to do.”

    Robert Keefe, president of the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association, said he still hasn’t seen the ruling from Navy Secretary Mabus, and no one from the Marine Corps has contacted him. The club is operating under a license that doesn’t expire until Dec. 31, 2011. But the club may not shoot at all there.



    “I really don’t know what to say about this because I haven’t seen anything from the Marines yet,” Keefe said. “But that’s not unusual because they cut us out of the discussion right from the start. We have tried to work with them and do everything they ask, give them everything they need. But it’s always one more thing that they need. Now it looks like they’re cutting us out entirely.”

    No time frame was given for when the clean-up would start, but it would be soon. At some point, the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association will have to vacate the base. Col. Richie said the last thing he wants is an “us versus them” situation. He said he respects the shotgunners, both the civilians, active military and retired military who shot there.

    “If they were in my shoes, they’d understand that this is what has to be done,” he said. “It’s the law.”

    The Marines plan to go to Marine headquarters and get funding to begin the process. They’ll begin the project, do what work they can and then seek reimbursement from the San Diego Shotgun Sports Association at a later date.

    “It’s not just environmental clean-up, not just getting the contaminants out, but it’s restoring the entire ecosystem,” attorney John Stimson said.

    He said the clean-up could take five years or more.
     
  9. benedict1

    benedict1 TS Member

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    Abatment plan had nothing to do with it. This was politics from the start and politics in the end. Second Amendment doesn't cover the eco-nuts and that's how they'll eventually shut us off. The heavy hand of government is on us in everything we do.
     
  10. h92064

    h92064 Active Member

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    Common sense clearly went out the window in more ways than one. The Marines/Defense Department is clearly making the decision to close the range and "eat" the cost of cleanup.

    "On Friday, Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus agreed with the Marines’ recommendation to close the range. He ordered that the lease holders, San Diego Shotgun Sports, be liable for the clean-up. It’s been estimated that it will cost between $8 million and $20 million to do the environmental clean-up of the canyon."

    Clearly - there is no money to obtain from an Association that has ZERO Means for raising money - EVER - considering this decision of closing the range. So, as it was stated previously in this "discussion" - the Dept. of Defense is clearly moving forward with the permanent closure of the SDSSA Shooting facility, and the DoD is going to assume the cost of cleanup INSTEAD of allowing the SDSSA to remain open, and ultimately manage the cleanup/abatement job and its costs.

    More tax dollars right "down the drain" - because of politics.
     
  11. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    A leftist congress created the EPA in order to get their radical environmental agenda done without THEM being the bad guys. What you are seeing here is part of that agenda. It will be used to destroy anything the leftists want destroyed. It is relatively insulated from oversight by it's creators. What makes this so successful for the left is they have the full support of the people. It was the people who elected the leftist politicians who created the EPA, and the leftist radical environmental agenda has been largely supported by the people. The people bought their agenda hook line and sinker, and now the stupid fools who supported it are seeing those chickens come home to roost, including a lot of shooters who for decades bought their lies and voted for them. As always the minority who didn't go along gets swept along.
     
  12. chipped1

    chipped1 TS Member

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    The threat of seeking reimbursement for $20 million worth of clean up speaks volumes about the relationship between the Marines and SDSSA as does the lack of communication by the Marines with SDSSA. The bottom line is clear -- San Diego has seen the end of an era. What a shame.
     
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