THERE ARE CHOICES
Contrary to popular folklore, there ARE choices and there ARE alternatives to keeping this range in its present location but to those who let their insecurities rule their logic, relocating the range would be tantamount to having Mount Rushmore razed and turned into road gravel.

The truth is that there are options and there are many.  
This was made clear in a report entitled: "Trap and Skeet Search Committee Report on Relocation Alternatives for the Suffolk County Trap and Skeet Range"
which was developed by the Trap and Skeet Relocation Committee, which (ironically) was commissioned by the very people who voted to reopen the range in the first place; the Suffolk County Legislature.

The eight member Committee consisted of a cross section of lawmakers, environmentalists, residents and sportsmen and was tasked to identify alternative locations for the shooting range. 
The Committee investigated Fifteen sites and its review of each site was based upon four basic criteria:

  • Noise (how shooting noise would affect the surrounding area;
  • Accessibility (how easy was it to get to);
  • Environment (how a shooting range would impact the land and its surroundings)
  • Area (would the parcel be large enough for a shooting range).
Of the 15 sites reviewed, 8 were found to be suitable for a shooting range and were thus ranked as being "worthy of further investigation"  
 

Some of the sites were already owned by the County, some were privately owned land, others were owned by townships and still others were slated for County procurement within its "Open Space" program.  The point of course is that there are choices available to the County other than it's present location. 

There are those both within and without the County who feel that the current site cannot be used for anything other than a shooting range and once again this too is a fallacy.

While it's true that if the land were to be used again as active parkland it would require an extensive and costly cleanup, but it should be noted that this is not a reason to keep the range where it is.  But if a cleanup needs to be done, then that's what has to be done and a simple disdain for wanting to do this is not reason enough to forego relocation.

But there are other uses for the land which would require little more than fencing around the shotfall areas and putting the clubhouse and its existing parking area to use.  This building could be used as a County Facilities building or field office and the parking area could accommodate County vehicles.  Or the building could be used as a Learning Center for the Pine Barrens and could double as a starting point for hiking the 1,500 acres of Southaven Park and could even be used as Community Center.  The building could even be used as a new headquarters for the Park Police leaving their present historic buildings available for preservation or even the Bed & Breakfast that many would like to see it become.

The bottom line is that there are many things which could be done with the land other than using it for a shooting range and failing all of the above suggestions, it could simply be fenced in and declared passive parkland.



Relocating the range would benefit everyone.
There are many other places the range could be moved to that are not in environmentally critical areas and at which it could be properly set up so as not to create the same problems it has created at its present location. 

Relocating the range would:

  • End the lawsuits that are draining taxpayer dollars
  • Allow Southaven Park to become a true park once again
  • Enable home values in the area to return to normal levels
  • Greatly reduce the threat to the Carmans River
  • Enable the shooting community to have a place to go where they can enjoy their sport knowing that they are not a party to lawlessness or to the degradation of other's lives and can be a part of something positive instead of something negative.

That's a solution by which all parties benefit.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

 

 

UPDATE:

We've recently learned that one of the sites investigated and dismissed as "unsuitable" has now become available.  Sources have told us that the site was originally dismissed because of planned development in its immediate area.  That development is no longer anticipated and is not likely to occur in the future and so the site has been re-examined and is now deemed to be "worthy of further investigation". 

The site was described as being a good candidate for relocation of the shooting range based upon its location, its proximity to developed areas (over a mile away) and its present use.  That's all we can share at this time and we will publish more information as it becomes available.

For those of you keeping score, that now raises the number of possible relocation sites for the range to NINE.