DNR will manage timber at shooting range

By Jim Casey, Peninsula Daily News
April 4, 2007

PORT ANGELES - The Department of Natural Resources will continue to manage timber on land it will convey to Clallam County for a shooting range near Sadie Creek.

The 35-acre tract west of Joyce - in the center of a buffer area about 10 times the site's size - has been in the works for more than four years but still has several environmental hurdles to clear.

County commissioners Monday approved a county Parks Board recommendation that DNR manage timber at the location, which would include shooting ranges as long as 300 yards.

Commissioners and Public Works Director Craig Jacobs denied an environmentalist's allegations that the facility would have a 1,000-yard range and that the National Rifle Association would conduct the environmental assessment of the location.

Josey Paul of Joyce also said the range would threaten $2 million worth of salmon habitat restoration on Sadie Creek and the East Twin River with lead concentrations more than 1,100 times the levels permitted at federal Superfund toxic waste sites.

Jacobs responded that the county would follow the same state Ecology processes as for any other county recreational site, up to and possibly including a full environmental-impact state­ment.

Range sought for 20 years
Furthermore, Jacobs said, the range would be "aimed" away from wetlands and wetland buffers, and the longest range will be 300 yards.

Shooting enthusiasts have sought a public range in Clallam County for more than 20 years.

They selected Sadie Creek, about three miles west of Joyce off state Highway 112, late in 2002.

Since then, Paul has opposed the site on account of its annual 80 inches of rain, shallow groundwater and proximity to the creek and river.

The Lower Elwha Klallam tribe also has opposed making the Sadie Creek location a shooting range.

In other action at their work session Monday, commissioners approved accepting $101,594 to what the county receives from the state Department of Health for safe drinking water projects, the Women's, Infants and Children, or WIC, program, tobacco prevention, shellfish sampling and other efforts.

$71,000 for septic program

The county's On-site Septic System program will receive $71,000 of the funds to implement a plan it will unveil later this month in Forks and Sequim.

The Forks meeting will start at 6 p.m. April 11 in the Department of Natural Resources Conference Center, 411 Tillicum Lane.

The Sequim session will start at 6 p.m. in the Sequim Prairie Grange, 290 Macleay Road.

Commissioners also approved sharing data on deaths in the county with the Department of Health, which in turn will share it with Olympic Medical Center's tumor registry.

In addition, they approved pre-application questionnaires for grants for the county's update of its Shoreline Master Program, for its Marine Resources Committee and for an Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account Volunteer Program that would be conducted by the county's Streamkeepers group.

Commissioners will reconvene for their formal meeting at 10 a.m. in the commissioners' hearing room (Room 160) of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

Reporter Jim Casey can be reached at 360-417-3538 or at jim.casey@peninsuladailynews.com.


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