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Dave_Schuldt

Sultan Basin Road Shootinng Galery

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I've been out to the area that the article talks about and it really is a mess. I mean crap is everywhere. Spent shells, shot up tv's, broken glass, etc. It's pretty sad that people have trashed the place so much.

 

It would be nice if there was a free public shooting range in the area so people would shoot targets and take care of the place.

 

And if you do go out there to shoot: pick up your shells and trash and try shootin' potatoes instead of glass bottles. Potatoes explode when you hit 'em and biodegrade.

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Its a mess, allright, and I don't like guns (run a search in the Spray section and you'll see), but I don't really mind if folks go out and shoot bottles or a wrecked car left in an old clearcut. Rather than close the roadside to shooting, I'd rather see them put up a big sign that says: "shoot here" - with maybe a parking lot and privvy next to it (privvy's make a great object for target practice). My basic assumption is that if you close that road to shooting, they'll just find another one. I also believe they are not really hurting anything. I just wish they'd clean up after themselves a little more.

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I also believe they are not really hurting anything.

it would be best if the metal were concentrated and contained in one area and periodically cleaned up. even recycled. i am not a greenie or nothin but that is how regular type shootin ranges are operated and i reckion there is a reason for it. lead aint good for little kids brains i know that.

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Somone burned a friends truck a few years ago in the basin while they were out climbing. By the time they got back it was totally smoked. There seems to be some wierd cult crap going down - anyone remember the cult that was going around sucking farm animals blood in the area?

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They should make two areas that face each other separated by a narrow band of brush. Then maybe they would thin out the gene pool a bit.

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As a strong supporter of gun ownership, sport shooting, and target shooting, I must chime in here. The area is question is horrific. I have shot there fairly often in the past. I always recover my brass, when possible, and clean up my targets. It is very unfortunate that others don't. There was a cleanup some time back, but now you'd never know it. Shutting down the shooting in that area won't stop the garbage dumping. Contrary to what the gentlman said in the article, it's not "a Wild West show with bullets flying every which way". I've never felt unsafe out there.

 

Roark

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I like the idea of a free shooting range in the area. People who would leave trash simply aren't willing to pay to shoot. If you can concentrate the shooting in a managed area you might get control of the problem. The question is who is going to pay? Surely there must be volunteer groups of gun enthusiast that could do this.

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Don't forget some of the shit they shoot at has toxic parts.

However, The sheer quantity of lead that is lying around there is way more of a toxicity problem than much of the shit they are shooting at. Either way as long as no one eats the soil there is very little human risk. And as long as they are not shooting into any bodies of water then it is very unlikley there will be any other risk.

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Alasdair's right. While rounds can fragment into small particles and be transported to streams when it rains and during snowmelt, the main risk is to humans eating or breathing the dirt/dust in the area.

 

I've done some background studies and sampling at several old military firing ranges and rarely find much off-site migration of lead. PAH's are common contaminants related to some clay pigeons, and they will migrate more easily than lead. The mercury in the CRTs (computer monitors and televisions) would concern me a bit, too.

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Alasdair's right. While rounds can fragment into small particles and be transported to streams when it rains and during snowmelt, the main risk is to humans eating or breathing the dirt/dust in the area.

 

I've done some background studies and sampling at several old military firing ranges and rarely find much off-site migration of lead. PAH's are common contaminants related to some clay pigeons, and they will migrate more easily than lead. The mercury in the CRTs (computer monitors and televisions) would concern me a bit, too.

Acctually there is such a small amount of mercury in monitors and tvs, unless they are dumping dozens then again there is likely no real problem. Oh and as you know mercury is very unlikley to migrate from the site either.

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And I am sure it pales in comparion to the gallons that were dumped during the mining days. Seriously though, is there any practical way to reduce the lead contamination in a place like that? It seems unlikely and expensive.

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Al, it sounded to me like there were dozens of CRTs up there, though it may have just been my take on the article.

 

And I am sure it pales in comparion to the gallons that were dumped during the mining days. Seriously though, is there any practical way to reduce the lead contamination in a place like that? It seems unlikely and expensive.

 

It is expensive. Common options include: covering the contaminated soil with soil, rock, impermeable liners, and/or a clay layer; excavating the contaminated soils and trucking them to a haz waste landfill. I've seen modified sand and gravel sorting/washing machines used to separate the lead from the soil, though the fragmented particles are difficult to remove. In some cases, I've seen the soil put in 'temporary' storage cells on site. I've also seen lead contaminated soils used as roadbase (underneath paving), though this is a less than desireable solution (and maybe not legal.)

 

In any case, it IS expensive....and fraught with legal rammifications.

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This fall I was hiking up at Evergreen Mountain and heard a bunch of shootin. We came down to the trailhead to find a nice yuppie looking family shooting all types of guns at a paper target suspended from a little alder tree on the point of the hill. That is, they were spraying the entire valley below with bullets. Now being a "responsible" gun owner, I thought I'd better stop and talk to these folks. I mentioned that they were launching bullets all over the valley below which was probably crawling with hikers, hunters and campers, they just looked at me like I was crazy. I informed them I had grown up shooting guns and had taken some safty courses and was trying to help. I noticed most of thier guns were new looking old fashioned shotguns, lever action rifles and six shooters. I realized they were planning to just wait until I left to resume shooting so, I pointed out that there was a perfect hillside to safely shoot into just across the road. At this point, the father became somewhat indignant and said "those guys on TV dont shoot into hillsides" and muttered about potential ricochets. I requested some clarification and he divulged that his family has been watching "cowboy shooting competitions" on TV for a while and decided to get into the sport. They purchased some guns that week and drove from Seattle to have some fun and he wasn't going to let me ruin it. I told him that was fine, but those guys on TV were pro's and he might consider taking a basic gun course. I think at that point he mentioned that the guy at the gun store had shown him how to shoot the guns, what else could there possibly be to learn? Blah blah blah, I said I was heading out and calling the sheriff when I got some cel reception. He said go ahead they were leaving and thanks for being a jerk. cry.gif

 

I've also talked with a lot of guys shooting out near Sultan Basin (that's one of many places I've seen around East Snohomish County that look that bad) and most are from Kent, Renton, Bellevue, Tukwilla and Federal Way even. I don't know why they all drive out there, but, I get the impression MOST of the people who mess that place up are not "local". I know locals like HRoark use it occasionally, but the hardcores who rip it up are usually from the metro area. Kinda wierd. "They" should open a free shooting range in King county even though the reason most of those guys come out to the woods is because they can dump a refridgerator, washing machine or propane tank and shoot it up without any supervision.

 

The other big deal greenies would be appalled at is the ORV's tearing it up there and in Reiter Pit. It's crazy enough that I don't go up to those places on sunny weekends. Contrary to what HRoark said, I have felt very unsafe out there several times.

 

I don't really have a point, I just like telling stories. thumbs_up.gif

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Found this on an MTB listserve

 

Yea, I love to ride the Blue Mountain Loop in Sultan. I'll continue to ride it, despite the target practice going on. The reason I'll ride it is that I don't really feel threatened by the target shooters. At least, not yet, but all it takes is one idiot to shoot a target across the road, and, oops.

 

Which isn't to say that I support what is going on, just that I am neutral on the subject. What I hate is the litter and destruction of the environment that they leave behind.

 

Where you park to start the loop, about 200 yards further down the road is an area used by paintball enthusiasts. They have ranges on both sides of the road. My company sponsored an outing there a few years ago, and none of the games allowed for crossing the road to shoot. However, I did see a number of people shoot paintballs from the road onto nearby trees. Supposedly, the paint is biodegradable, but you decide. Some of the paintball guns have a rapid fire mechanism, so if you don't know that it is just a paintball gun, it could be very scary if you mistake the sound for automated real guns. Which isn't to say that paintball is completely fake of a gun, getting hit on unprotected skin does leave welts on you, and would be very bad if it hit your face, it could blind you.

 

About mountain biking. As you reach the summit of Blue Mountain, there are three spots that have breathtaking views. Just incredible, anybody who is detracted by the logging road nature of this loop or the guns, is missing out on some of the best views I've seen, notably in the direction of Spada lake. At the summit, these views are somewhat spoiled if you look down at your feet. Thousands of empty bullet casings. A few pits from camp fires, some empty beer bottles and cans. This is my biggest concern, if people are firing from the summit, where do the bullets go?

 

As you finish descending from the view, at the junction where the fire road meets the paved road, there is an unofficial firing range. Again, quite the mess. But at least the bullets fly away from the road, not towards a trail, and I am not worried about getting shot there, even though I've seen people shooting as I come off the mountain.

 

Finally, as you ride the paved road back to your car, there are several spots where people just pull off and shoot. The ride back on the paved road is mostly downhill, so I enjoy the speed and never slow down to look at the mess that might be there.

 

My take on this is that shooting enthusiasts are ruining their ability to have a free target range. If they just cleaned up their casings, and removed their targets, and shot only their targets, this would not have become the issue that it is. That is going to be their loss, to them. From a MTB perspective, I won't allow it to spoil my fun.

 

I've considered taking a garbage bag to clean up the casings from the summit, but not sure if that is in my best interest. After all, if they leave the mess, perhaps they will get run out of the place so I can ride my bike in peace. They're only doing it to themselves, I'm not helping them ruin their public image by not cleaning up their mess. Nah, they'll still be there even if unauthorized. Despite the mess they leave, they've always been polite to me, even very friendly as they admire someone that is on top of that summit with a bike (remember, they too appreciate the outdoors, even if they are too lazy as to clean up, and hopefully not everyone with a gun is acting without a conscience).

 

I don't know exact numbers, but I would imagine if I were doing target practice, 200 rounds fired would be a good day. How difficult is it to pick up 200 shell casings that are lying near your feet?

 

I assume the area is covered in snow right now, but when it melts, I'd be happy to take anyone there. Just remember, it is a challenging but doable climb.

 

OK, done talking about Blue Mountain. What sucks about the situation is that gunfire may be scaring off the trailbuilders. After all, if I were building a new trail, I wouldn't spend countless hours building a trail where I have to listen to the sound of gunfire. But as a user of trails, I would still go there.

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Found this on an MTB listserve

 

yelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif Damn that was funny, had me cracking up. So Dave when are we gonna ride there? Sounds like a great place to ride.

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I used to go up there and shoot, but for the most part we were responsible shooters. Shooting with a mound behind the target and such. There are some pretty scary guys up there with big guns and saw them trying to blast a tree down one time---no telling where the bullets from the high powered rifle were headed that missed hellno3d.gif

Most of the people seemed responsible, but there were many that seemed careless.

Speaking of careless, one time we were shooting at a rubber boot and we'd hear this wizzing right after we hit the boot--turns out it was richochet off the boot back at us Geek_em8.gif That place was a dump last time I was there and got first hand experience at what it was like to have someone else down the way shooting at our direction rolleyes.gif

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Found this on an MTB listserve

 

yelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif Damn that was funny, had me cracking up. So Dave when are we gonna ride there? Sounds like a great place to ride.

 

Whenever you think you can out ride the bullits!

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What everyone has said kind of sucks. I grew up in Sultan in the 80's and have not really been back in the last 15 years. I remember it being very nice up there.

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Another interesting article from www.heraldnet.com

 

 

Published: Thursday, July 29, 2004

 

Sultan no-shooting zone expanded

 

 

By Brian Kelly

Herald Writer

 

 

Snohomish County Council members sent this message Wednesday to target shooters when they expanded a no-shooting zone north of Sultan:

 

If gun enthusiasts don't start policing their own, more restrictions may be ahead.

 

"It is imperative that those responsible firearm owners and users help those other folks to understand that everybody loses when this kind of activity takes place," Councilman John Koster said.

 

The council expanded the no-shooting zone along Sultan Basin Road up to Spada Lake.

 

Wade Holden, founder of Friends of the Trail, a group that helps clean up public lands, had asked for more land in the Sultan Basin to be put off limits to gun enthusiasts because indiscriminate shooters were endangering people in the woods.

 

The shooters also have been using dumped trash for target practice, creating environmental hazards for nearby Olney Creek, Holden said.

 

Keith Vande, a cabin owner at Lake Bronson and an avid hiker and mountain biker in the Sultan Basin, agreed. "I have seen a lot of devastation up there," he said.

 

But safety is the main reason for more restrictions, he added, and the ban could save a life. "Shooters cannot see who's back there," he said. "We've heard bullets whizzing over our lake."

 

Most of the land covered by the extended ban is owned by the state Department of Natural Resources. Agency officials supported the restrictions and said department employees were in danger because of the reckless shooting.

 

Shooters have damaged trees, and department officials said as much as 80 percent of the logs sold by the state several years ago had bullet holes in them. A metal detector had to be used to find the bullets before they could be sent through the mill.

 

Shooters also have used televisions, refrigerators, stuffed animals and cars as targets, Holden said.

 

The council received two letters from recreational shooters who opposed the restrictions. They warned that shooters would simply move to more densely populated areas. They said safe shooting areas need to be set aside so Americans can improve their gun skills as the global war on terror continues.

 

Councilman Jeff Sax said the added restrictions aren't something he would normally sign off on because he is a supporter of open access to public lands. But this case was different, he said.

 

"It's a disaster," Sax said.

 

He added that government has spent a lot of money on salmon habitat restoration. And "to have it blown apart on a seasonal basis seems somewhat wrong," Sax said.

 

The council passed the expanded ban unanimously.

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This is very good news!

 

This is very funny!

 

They said safe shooting areas need to be set aside so Americans can improve their gun skills as the global war on terror continues.

yellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif

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