1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Warning on Lead Fallout at Cun Clubs

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by recurvyarcher, Jul 17, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,450
    This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    (09-28) 18:49 PDT -- For 40 years on clear mornings, avid shooters have turned out at the Petaluma Trap and Skeet Club for the sport of popping away at clay pigeons hurled into the air.

    The western Sonoma County range looks idyllic with hawks and golden eagles diving over grazing sheep. But in a year's time, the rural outdoor range is strewn with seven tons of lead, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which owns the land.

    Health officials worry about even trace amounts of lead in gasoline, paint, plumbing, food and consumer products, which is why conservationists and regulators are warning about letting thousands of tons of lead accumulate at shooting ranges statewide.

    Despite some cleanups and spotty county inspections, dozens of ranges in California remain under the radar of regulation.

    Lead litter endangers wildlife and waterways, scientists say. Lead is so toxic that if consumed, it stunts the growth of animals and plants, and causes the loss of biological diversity, according to scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    Runoff from ranges can be rich in lead, said Tom Mumley, assistant executive officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, which halted the use of lead shot at shooting ranges near water in the mid-1990s.

    "We think there are solutions that don't require lead shot."

    But gun clubs, like the Petaluma Trap and Skeet Club, disagree.

    "Lead's not a contaminant. It doesn't run with the water," said Jerry Cossey, club president of the Petaluma club who has been a member for all of its 40 years.

    But costly cleanups show otherwise.

    San Francisco Public Utilities Commission water customers paid $25 million to clean up the now-closed Peninsula Gun Club near San Francisco Bay in Menlo Park. At Lake Merced, the city told the Pacific Rod and Gun Club to begin a lead study at the club's expense.

    "There could well be more than 1,000 tons of lead remaining at the lake from skeet shooting over the years," said Tony Winnicker, commission spokesman. "That, of course, is a serious concern."

    Wildlife at risk
    Environmentalists and hunters are still at odds after a state law passed last year banned lead bullets in 14 counties. The law is intended to protect California condors from poisoning because the birds' food, dead birds and mammals, becomes contaminated when the animals consume lead ammunition or are shot with lead.

    The condor preservation fight highlighted the issue of lead exposure and its effect on the environment, according to a recent report by the American Ornithological Society for Audubon California. Lead shot has also been banned for use at national wildlife refuges and some state parks. And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told duck and geese hunters to stop using lead ammunition by 1991 as a way of protecting wetlands and water.

    "There's no good reason to be putting lead in the environment ... it's clear it's toxic," said Graham Chisholm, Audubon California's conservation director.

    Diane Hichwa, conservation chair of the local Madrone Audubon Society, agreed. "Lead as an environmental contaminant could be quite detrimental in the area west of Petaluma, which is a wintering area for raptors as they move along the Pacific Flyway."

    The Petaluma shooting range, scattered with spent shot and broken clay, could attract golden eagles, hawks, peregrine falcons, American kestrels and merlins, said Melissa Pitkin, education director of PRBO Conservation Science.

    Betty Burridge, famed editor of "Sonoma County Breeding Bird Atlas," singled out birds that would "eat off the ground" - California quails, mourning doves, rock pigeons and wild turkeys. Barn owls, which nest in the area, eat rats and mice that could pick up lead from the ground.

    Coast Guard monitoring
    Most ranges aren't required to report the release of lead. The amount of lead left behind by the Petaluma Trap and Skeet Club - which can serve as an indicator for other ranges - came to light only because the Coast Guard must submit an annual report to the EPA.

    For the first time in 2006 and 2007, the Coast Guard reported that 300,000 shots fired at the club resulted in an annual 14,000 pounds of lead.

    Patrick Nelligan, environmental protection specialist at the Coast Guard Training Center at Petaluma, said the Coast Guard adheres to the EPA's "best management" practices on outdoor shooting ranges, which outline how lead should be recovered, recycled and kept from moving outside of the range.

    Nelligan said the club pays for a lead cleanup at least every five years. The top 2 inches of soil are removed and the shot is separated on the 1,000-foot by 225-foot fall zone. The grass seed planted by the club and alfalfa grown by Sonoma County farmers help to inhibit lead runoff from the range, he said.

    The club is required to hire a company to test the soil every other year.

    The most recent soil monitoring reported the highest lead concentration of 17,000 parts per million and the average of nine samples taken in the fall zone at 2,165 ppm, said Nelligan, who reviews the results. The lead isn't considered hazardous waste by the EPA because it's on a shooting range - and eventually will be recycled. If it were a hazardous waste site, the ratio would have to be cleaned up to 1,000 ppm.

    The sampling of soil is limited to the shooting range, Nelligan said. The Coast Guard assumes that the topography and vegetation limit migration offsite of lead, he said.

    Resistance to change
    Shooters bristle at the idea that their sport is harmful to the environment and resist changing the shot they use.

    There appear to be 80 gun clubs in California, according to Clay Targets Online. Lead is the cheapest, most popular shot. If the lead peppered on the range west of Petaluma is any indication of what small outdoor ranges accumulate in a year, lead litter statewide could reach 500 tons a year.

    Representatives of the Pacific International Trapshooting Association and the California State Trapshooting Association refused to respond to queries about membership and any movement toward replacing lead shot.

    Skeet aficionados prefer lead shot, saying non-toxic substitutes cost much more. Steel, one alternative, can damage older guns, takes more powder to shoot and is not as effective, they say.

    Jeff Miller, conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, said there are at least 10 approved nontoxic types of shot other than lead and steel and some were designed to approximate the density and weight of lead.

    "As regulations and interest in using non-lead shot increase, the price is going to come down," Miller said. "Lead's been a useful metal. But from what we know... there's no reason to keep using it."

    E-mail Jane Kay at jkay@sfchronicle.com.
     
  2. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,450
    SAN FRANCISCO Gun club in crosshairs

    PUC plans for Lake Merced that could close facility have set off hot debate between members, neighbors
    Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, the shots start ringing out at 11 a.m. from the 80-year-old Pacific Rod and Gun Club on the shores of San Francisco's Lake Merced, sending loud booms across the western half of the city.

    Club members and other shooters trickle in all afternoon, unloading their shotguns and dogs, donning their hunting vests and making their way up a set of rickety stairs to the clubhouse. There, they plunk down their fees - $8 per 25-shot round for nonmembers and $4 for members - and head out to the trap and skeet fields. In between rounds, they sip coffee and smoke stogies in the clubhouse, which is lined with pictures and awards dating back to 1934 when the club moved into the 13-acre city-owned facility. The clubhouse hasn't changed much over the last seven decades, and neither have some of its members.

    "Hardly anyone ever quits the club - they just die," said Murray Baxter, 76, who has been shooting there for 37 years. "It's a social event. I've come out here many times before and not shot at all."

    Baxter, a Pacifica resident, is one of about 300 members worried about losing access to their favorite pastime as the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission develops a plan aimed at improving the health of the Lake Merced watershed and increasing recreational opportunities at the long-neglected lake. The gun club is the only recreational activity at risk of being closed as part of the possible changes.

    Other issues are being considered as part of the plan for the site at Lake Merced, which is actually a series of four lakes. There's the decrepit old boathouse and rotting piers; the question of boating and fishing access; the need to protect birds and other wildlife; and the health of the lake, which had been in decline until the PUC started a series of programs to raise water levels a few years ago.

    But the prospect of shutting the gun club has some people steaming mad and others celebrating. In a city that voted three years ago to ban handguns entirely, many residents may be surprised that a gun club exists - and some of its critics are hoping to seize on the anti-firearm sentiment.

    Relic of different time
    Felicia Zeiger, who lives in Merced Heights, has made the club a crusade for years. She says she can't garden on weekends because of the noise, and is often forced to drive to the other side of the city to walk her dog, who is terrified by the cacophony.

    "When the club was originally built ... there was nothing but a couple of farms and sand dunes, and now there are residents all around," she said. "There are maybe 500 people who go out there and shoot and thousands who have to suffer the noise. It doesn't make sense anymore."

    Club members disagree, pointing out that the nearest skeet shooting is in Martinez, and arguing that they have been good neighbors. The club rents out its facilities to community groups - there are several other buildings in addition to the clubhouse. It also offers its parking lots for use when there are golf tournaments nearby, keeps its restrooms open to the public at all times, and hosts public activities such as an Easter egg hunt.

    They aren't the only people firing off guns in the area, either: the San Francisco Police Department has a shooting range just down the street that will be staying put regardless of what the PUC decides.

    The Pacific Rod and Gun Club is a relic of a San Francisco that has all but disappeared. It's not really a rod club at all - the fishing aspect died long ago - and it's admittedly an old boys club, although women shoot there, too, and have since its inception. Many of the members grew up there and have stayed regulars for decades. Black-and-white photos on the walls dating back to the '30s show women in culottes taking aim at clay targets as crowds of men look on, and many club members still bring in their kids, both boys and girls, to learn how to shoot.

    "We're proud of the club. ... There's a lot going on here besides shooting," said Gene Bugatto, 48, who's been coming to the club since he was 6 years old. "We'd like to stay. There's good camaraderie. We've attended meetings and tried to voice our case, but they pretty much have their mind set about what they want to do."

    Gun safety classes
    City officials insist, however, that the gun club's demise is not a foregone conclusion.

    "We're not doing this in order to grind one ax or another, the question is what does the community want in terms of the highest and best purposes for this priceless resource," said David Behar, the PUC's Lake Merced program manager. "Everyone agrees the lake (in general) has been underutilized and neglected, the facilities are in terrible condition, and it's a little bit of an embarrassment to the city."

    Behar points out that the gun club has been paying very little in rent - $4,000 a month since 1998. Before that, it was only $300 a month, and Behar estimated the fair market value at closer to $8,000 a month.

    Club members say they do a public service, offering inexpensive hunter safety courses and other gun training. Last month they were honored by state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma with a certificate of recognition "for outstanding community service and exemplary leadership in providing gun safety training."

    More than that, though, members say that shooting skeet is their sport, their hobby. And they're not ready to lose it.

    "It's just like golf, only we use guns instead of golf clubs," Baxter said. "I don't know what I'd do if I lost this place - and that goes for most of these guys."

    Get involved
    There is a community meeting on April 22 at the Sunset Recreation Center, 2201 Lawton St. (at 28th Avenue), at 6 p.m.

    For more information, visit www.lmtf.org or e-mail chair@lmtf.org.

    E-mail Marisa Lagos at mlagos@sfchronicle.com.

    This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,639
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    OMG..."We built by the gun club, and didn't know there would be loud booms echoing......."

    "PUC"......they mispelled it.

    Gee, if Lake Merced has a thousand tons, I know a guy who will remove it all for free.

    Yellow journalism is alive and well in California.

    HM
     
  4. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,474
    A very sad read to a shooter and a hunter that grew up in a better time. Very sad to see how this country is changing. We are under attack on so many fronts. Liberals don't have a live and let live attitude. If they did they wouldn't be liberals. I grew up hunting and fishing on my own. I loved reading the outdoor magazines. I was in the boy scouts and we went on campouts and fishing trips. We shot 22's at the gun range. I had an Uncle with an old house with a room full of guns and fishing equipment with picures on the walls of successfull fishing and hunting trips. We had an outdoor club on the edge of town with skeet and trap shooting and wild game dinners once a year. I thought the outdoors was magic. I can't explain the excitement I felt the first time I stepped onto a trap range. The excitement the first time I fired a shotgun. The first time I caught a big bass or my first quail hunt over pointing dogs. Liberals will never understand. Probably comes close to their first abortion or first protest rally or the first time they badmouthed the country in a civics class or when they smoked their first joint. I hate what has happened to my country.
     
  5. berettagold53954

    berettagold53954 TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    475
    doesnt lead already come from the ground the whole state it comes from must have lead poisoning
     
  6. 12Gagejon

    12Gagejon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    304
    Frisco They hate you to call it that! Home of Sierra Club who once wanted yosemite and Yellowstone closed to public an only they could monitor it!also famous for color TV and couches in animal sheltures.bike riders kick in doors of cars. We need a really big shaker up there. Jon
     
  7. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,946
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Its time to quite giving credit to people who claim that because they went to college (government school) and that makes them smarter then anyone else!

    If All those animals listed are out eating lead shot, maybe there is a more serious poblem out in the animal kingdom!!

    At the onset of being forced to use steel shot by the Feds, most state game department were against it. It wasn't until their budgets were going to be cut that they started to favor steel.

    Just more Weird Science! And weird generally startes in Calif.!!!!
     
  8. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,542
    This will happen all over the country. Clubs don't have enough insurance or cash to handle these or any situation. Happened to a few clubs in CT. It bankrupted them. If the EPA or the local DEP's don't get our shooting clubs, the new housing developements will. Clubs are battleing too many fronts these days. On a lighter note., Welcome back Recurvy, glad to have you back in the fray. Dave T.
     
  9. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,399
    Nice to see recury posting again.
     
  10. ExFedex

    ExFedex Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    900
    How about all those old Catalina, Newports,endless list of sailboats with their lead keels just soaking away in San Francisco Bay year after year. My Catalina 30 had 500# of lead hanging down there and don't tell me that bottom paint protected the surrounding waters from the evil lead. At the cost of bottom paint today I doubt that many keels are being painted anyway. A commercial fishing buddy has 5000# of lead shot in 25# bags in his bilge to make up for some engineering changes above the waterline. He purchased this lead at $1.05 a pound about 25 miles from a recent cleanup site of an old trap club that the taxpayers got socked $325,000 for by an Environmental Group who new how to handle such hazardous materials. Reclaiming or remelting was not a consideration by local politicians. Sorry for the rant my friends but I just got a passing grade from my wonderful family doctor this a.m. but he tells me he doubts that he will be an MD when retirement time comes thanks to the present administration.
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,717
    Recurvy,
    Welcome back!!

    I have missed your posts.

    Don Verna
     
  12. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,408
    I second what Don said. We missed you curvy, glad your back. Break-em all Jeff
     
  13. poacherjoe

    poacherjoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,071
    Location:
    Central Kommiefornia
    Welcome back curvy;The F&G comission has a sheduled meeting about ELIMINATING the use of LEAD statewide on August 2nd in Woodland.It is still being discussed and the Anti's and Liberal's will be at the meeting so get over there and make your voice known!!They are going to move the lead issue from EPA jurisdiction to the FDA.Therefore lead is a health issue and they will get rid of it.

    I have bitten down on lead fishing sinkers and eaten various amounts from the birds that I have shot and also used it to weld copper tubing together for 30+ years!All this BS about the California Condor is BS that the anti libs came up with!

    I have shot thousands of ground squirrel's and never seen or heard about the Turkey Vultures developing acid reflux or any other disease!If anyone on this post goes to the meeting please point this and the above mentioned out to them!!Regards PJ
     
  14. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,736
    "Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead poisoning was documented in ancient Rome, Greece, and China."


    Being stupid about the problems we all face with lead will do nothing but nail our coffin shut. Dealing with the environmentalists and lead is going to take more than an attitude of ignorance....
     
  15. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    10,124
    Location:
    Northampton PA
    Amazingly, I've been loading shotshells for 48 years, handled thousands of bags of lead and remain lucid enough to type this post.

    So when should I expect the cumulative effects of all this exposure to hasten my demise!!
     
  16. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,450
    I am hoping that somebody besides me noticed that our detractors are using our own online resources to mount campaigns against our sport. The author mentioned claytargetsonline.com.

    It was important for trapshooters (and other types of shooters) to understand how the opposition is thinking, planning, and carrying out its plans...important enough to post for all to read.

    Hello to you all.
     
  17. coltlover

    coltlover Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    134
    Boy, I bet the sunset would be spectacular @ the Petaluma Trap and Skeet Club after a couple of years of steel shot being deposited! I imagine it would look akin to the Australian deserts. I think I will sell all my guns now, while there is still a market for them. Won't be long until the government bans them & any website that promotes such despicable activity.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,736
    coltlover.....you just made my case .....Your not going to beat these people by calling them names and trying to outbumb them. Setting back and bitching will not save your, or my right to shoot. We have to become the custodians of our rights and not just a trash and burn bunch of bitchers.
     
  19. coltlover

    coltlover Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    134
    Maybe we should look into corn cob media or rock salt as a shot substitute. Oh, salt would probably kill the grass. Yea, guess I'm still selling my guns!
     
  20. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,002
    Devi, belated congratulations to you and Martin. Wayne
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.