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More Community Voices from our mail box- April 18-25

  • I would think that   IF NRA has actually given the DNR $20,000 already for the rifle range, then it is a clear violation of the public review process - and should stand up in court.  The fact that DNR took money before seeking comment is a blatant violation, I would think, but I'm not an attorney or judge.
     In addition, they had plans for this range, obviously, to be completed quickly (by May 31) and even before the public review process began. They should have, at least, mentioned it in the management plan during the initial public review process when so many residents objected to shooting ranges.  There is no way that they can give all comments adequate review and also complete building the shooting range by this date.  If nothing else, I think these sorts of mistakes by DNR should help in court.
    In addition, have you seen the Best Management Practices for Managing Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges by EPA (http://www.epa.gov/region2/waste/leadshot/)?
    Is there any indication that the DNR plans to follow ANY of these management practices?  I doubt it since they don't seem to be able to interpret the literature nor realize the impacts they are causing with their premature decisions.
  • AN important quote from the EPA: “Spent ammunition on ranges is not regulated as solid/hazardous waste unless it is discarded (abandoned) and left to accumulate for a long period of time (U.S. EPA, 2001a).”

    “Given that definition by EPA, the rifle range should ALREADY be treated as a solid/hazardous waste site.”

  • To Whom it may concern,
    I have been a user of the Maud Rd extension (frequent at some times of yr) for 23 yr.   I jog, walk and ride horses into Jim Lake because at some times of yr. it is the only open area available where we aren't damaging ourselves or the trails  (wet times, break up etc)
    We like to go into Jim Lake to see the occasional wildlife and birds as well as exercise dogs and ourselves.....it has been with growing frequency that we have had to turn around because of gunfire......the rifle people have been frequent users since the road was put in, but certainly do not have grandfather rights......many of the shooters do not live in the area and therefore are  not exposed to the noise and the dangers.
        In my opinion this is a poor place for a gun range due to noise which is very apparent to anyone living in the Maud Rd area (particularly night workers of which there are quite a no. ie: nurses, medics and other health care or 24 hr. workers)  
  • Mud Lake is where the sheep come down to water off the hillsides and I have seen them crossing from the Lake to the mtn. numerous times in the mid to late mornings..
    .    A proper gun range would ensure that there would be no stray or ricocheting bullets from inexperienced gun users.   The one proposed is not such a situation.       In my opinion gun ranges do not ever belong where people live, sleep and come home to rest....in this time many of us work very responsible jobs at night....We have a right to undisturbed privacy in our homes..  
  • Who plans to pay for the increased road maintenance on that road and has better parking been provided for?
  • My primary concern is for safety.....and the fact that those of us who have conscientiously kept our horses off the trails during high mud times are being kept out of here where we disturb no one.   Did you ever try riding a horse past blasting guns?  
  • Who will be paid to do the ammunition pick-up.....?
  • Why do a few narrow minded very selfish gun owners think they can invade private neighborhoods (where they don't live) and disturb home owners and local trail user just because it's convenient and they won't have to drive too far....why don't they set up the ranges in their own neighborhoods?   I have never yet seen a shooter at the Mud Lake area you propose to legalize for shooting WALK in with their rifles....they always are in big expensive 4 wheel drives and can afford to drive a few more miles to where they will cause less disturbance.
  • The photos are especially provocative, the ones that show the same location or running water coming off the elevations with and without snow cover.  Wow. 
  •  it isn't just an ugly, dirty gully full of trash.  It is for the sake of those gorgeous swans that we want that area rehabilitated. 
  • Talk about a bad idea! rifle range near a neighborhood.
  • …..Comment from a supporter on a reply from DNR when BARCO pointed out administrative errors to the agency and had to wait a long time to get some answers (still waiting for other unanswered questions): “I dropped Mr. Thompson a line asking who would have time to manage (the rifle range) if they did not have the ability to deal with all the “incoming” (email) on a real time basis…  “
  • i wonder if the fellow who owns the birchwood range thinks the  competition is fair, wonder if he is "overwhelmed" such that a free state range is needed. And, is DPS happy about it?
  • Unbelievable that they are brazen enough to march on with construction before comment periods.
  • It is the same old problem of political will versus habitat and science.

More Community Voices from our mail box - April 26

  • Hi,
    When I was flying a few days ago I could see where someone has already cut down the trees for the shooting range.  They didn't waste any time getting that done! – D
  • What p….s me off is this is happening before the public comment period is even over! Quite the open public process we have don't you think? Sounds like a good potential lawsuit to me. – T
  • Thats what they intended - It's hidden from the road. - There have been at least 500 trees cut. - I drove past it just now without even seeing it. - its adjacent to the existing shooting gallery. – T
  • Excerpt from letter to David Griffin, DNR, by another Maud Road Resident, accompanied by photos of the cutting area:
    These photographs (see above) were taken Sunday April 26'th 2009 on the proposed  easement for the shooting range in the KRPUA. I also am under the impression the comment period for the easement  application is open until May 4'th, 2009.  If this is the case, then  hasn't someone jumped the gun here?  I would also like to know why  there was no attempt by the State or the Borough to notify residents  living nearby the "proposed range easement".   I am aware the  KRPUA  went through a public process, and I commented, however I do not  understand how the selection for the location of the easement was made  and why there was not another opportunity to involve local residents most impacted by this decision? I look forward to your clarification of the easement application  process, the purpose and length of the comment period,  and your  interpretation on whether this recent cutting violates the intent of  the State's public process. 
  • DNR does not give a whit about proper process protocol, as has been amply demonstrated by multiple incidents throughout the KRPUA process. (The Susitna Plan comes immediately to mind as I just received a letter of concern on that topic.) And did you know DNR applied for a motorized easement on Rippy during the time they were promoting a non-motor corridor in the Draft? Other process glitches are abundant - this one adding to the ongoing list. Habitat, wildlife, peer and federal agencies, MSB, conservationists, other users, science, residents, etc. continue to be ignored with false testimonies and political whims the documented rule. In this view, starting construction before the comment period is over is their ongoing equivalent of saying "to Hell with you." 
  • Upon real examination a more wayward, polarizing, politically driven and errant process would be tough to find !
  • ……. Little has changed. We still have no protection for anadromous fish waters , autos continue to be dumped, wetlands assaulted,. on and on.
  • Knik R. Watershed Group submitted applicable science on the effects of noise on waterfowl. In addition, USFWS may as well not exist in DNR's practice.