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Rifle Range Gets the Boot From Mont. Park
Herald-Zeitung ^ | Mar 18, 2:31 AM EST | SUSAN GALLAGHER

Posted on 03/18/2006 11:35:20 AM PST by BenLurkin

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Erosion by wind and water is a big part of the story at Makoshika State Park, a place of badlands and dinosaur fossils, bobcats and bluebirds. Now some people who enjoy firing guns at a range there fear erosion of what they have come to view as an entitlement.

The state parks agency plans to eliminate a decades-old rifle range at Makoshika, a rolling expanse of peculiar sandstone formations in eastern Montana. The 11,500-acre park gets about 54,000 visits a year, and is especially popular among gun enthusiasts in Glendive, about a quarter-mile from the rifle range and its plywood targets.

"Things have changed," said Tom Reilly, an assistant administrator in the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "Now we have a visitor center on one side and a public campground on the other."

Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said "We may be used to that, living here, but others may not be."

The state agency's new 10-year management plan for Makoshika calls for moving the shooting range, but no new site has been selected.

That concerns Glendive shooters such as Ernest Huether, who sells and repairs guns. He worries the alternative to the state range will be a private one, with fees and a less convenient location.

Another shooter, Henry Mischel of the Dawson County Rod & Gun Club, said state planners should keep in mind that guns are a traditional part of life in Montana.

His response to concerns about visitors: "I don't like the sound of sirens when I go to a big city, but I have to deal with it."

Mischel said the rifle range has existed at least for the 50 years he has lived in Glendive. On a busy day, the range - passed by visitors heading to the park's interior - draws dozens of shooters carrying handguns and rifles.

The new Makoshika plan, prepared after study of recommendations from a public advisory group, was approved in late 2005 by Jeff Hagener, director of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The state commission overseeing the agency will take up an appeal Monday by John N. Haas of Glendive, who has challenged removal of the range. Eliminating it might be OK were there a suitable replacement, but one has not been found, Haas said.

"I'm not sure that a suitable replacement site exists - it depends on what is defined as suitable," he wrote in the appeal. And without an alternative site, he said, "future development within the park cannot successfully be planned around a faulty assumption that the range will be moved."

There have been no reports of accidents or close calls associated with the range, but the plan says "the possibility of a misfire" into a populated area cannot be ignored.

"People wander all over," said Jim Swanson of the park advocacy group Friends of Makoshika. "They can drop over a hill and, boom, they're right in a rifle range."

---


TOPICS: Government; US: Montana; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: 1stamendment; amendment1; bag; baglist; bloat; fmcdh; rkba

1 posted on 03/18/2006 11:35:23 AM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin
Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said

Has it really come to this?

2 posted on 03/18/2006 11:36:03 AM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: BenLurkin
"Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said."

Oh, poor, poor babies!

Hell, I was awakened three times during the night to the sounds of gunfire right in downtown San Francisco, the last time I was there.

You can bet that those shots weren't meant to be harmless like those are at that range in Montana!

3 posted on 03/18/2006 11:44:07 AM PST by nightdriver
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To: BenLurkin

Seems to me a few signs could let people know they're walking behind a firing range. Duh!

As for the folks in New Jersey, visit or don't. The park is in Montana.

Seems to me they'd have to practically be looking for a place to get upset about to go that far and then complain about what existed there for over fifty years.


4 posted on 03/18/2006 11:44:55 AM PST by DoughtyOne (If you don't want to be lumped in with those who commit violence in your name, take steps to end it.)
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To: BenLurkin

"People wander all over," said Jim Swanson of the park advocacy group Friends of Makoshika. "They can drop over a hill and, boom, they're right in a rifle range."

With "Friends" like Jim, who needs enemies?


5 posted on 03/18/2006 11:46:07 AM PST by Freedom4US
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To: BenLurkin

That settles it. Montana has been Kalifornicated.


6 posted on 03/18/2006 11:48:17 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: BenLurkin

Libs from NJ saturating MT should be use to gunfire from the frequency of the NJ mobsters.


7 posted on 03/18/2006 11:48:36 AM PST by lilylangtree
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To: BenLurkin
Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said "We may be used to that, living here, but others may not be."

If they don't like it, let them go back to their nice, quiet, safe city.

8 posted on 03/18/2006 11:56:32 AM PST by holymoly (Dick DeVos for MI Governor: http://www.devosforgovernor.com/)
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To: BenLurkin

You think Blago could install a nice target range near Chicago?


9 posted on 03/18/2006 11:56:45 AM PST by DUMBGRUNT (islam is a mutant meme)
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To: Freedom4US

Perhaps someone should tell them that Dick Cheney likes to camp there.

Problem solved!


10 posted on 03/18/2006 12:04:00 PM PST by rockrr (Never argue with a man who buys ammo in bulk...)
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To: BenLurkin
Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said "We may be used to that, living here, but others may not be."

Bull, there's a rifle range in Ringwood State Park. Not to different from this setup.

11 posted on 03/18/2006 12:32:32 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (COLD PINK: Frigid Womyn For Peace)
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To: BenLurkin
Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said "We may be used to that, living here, but others may not be."

Newark....Camden....Jersey City....

12 posted on 03/18/2006 12:36:21 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (COLD PINK: Frigid Womyn For Peace)
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To: BenLurkin
"Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire,"

They wake up in their bedrooms and hear to gunfire. They will feel at home.

13 posted on 03/18/2006 12:39:12 PM PST by blackbart.223 (I live in Northern Nevada. Reid doesn't represent me.)
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To: BenLurkin
Shooting may disturb people who "come from New Jersey to camp and wake up to gunfire," he said "We may be used to that, living here, but others may not be."

great: trample on locals in order to pander to tourists. what a boot-licking serf-like excuse this is.

14 posted on 03/18/2006 12:54:26 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: BenLurkin

If such a long-standing rifle range were closed, consider how much lead & metals would be in the ground "generally" close to/behind the target area? Superfund site?


15 posted on 03/18/2006 1:12:40 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (Funny taglines are value plays.)
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To: Doctor Raoul

ull, there's a rifle range in Ringwood State Park"

Makes one wonder how much time that one has too.


16 posted on 03/18/2006 1:32:23 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get.)
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To: All
"Things have changed," said Tom Reilly, an assistant administrator in the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "Now we have a visitor center on one side and a public campground on the other."

Uuuuuhhhhh....... maybe they shouldn't have built the visitor center and campground near the gun range!?

But then again Montana did vote for a dumbocRAT governor. To many Kaliforni types moving into a common sense state.

17 posted on 03/18/2006 2:30:44 PM PST by mountn man (Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.)
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To: BenLurkin
Yes it has. In New Jersey, a skeet/trap range that is more than 1/2 mile from any residential areas (besides the warden's home), will not have it's land lease renewed whenever the current lease holders/range owners decide to retire, (or "die right here in the store god damn it" direct quote from owner).

There won't be a conveniently NNJ-located skeet/trap range for all of Northern New Jersey's several million residents after that day.
18 posted on 03/18/2006 2:35:35 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: nightdriver

Eh, I think the state NJ was just used as an example, since it said "may disturb". BTW, NJ is loaded with gun clubs and ranges. The type of people venturing out west to camp are not likely to be our scumbag liberals that have a foot hold in the political realm at the time. If you happen to identify the Jersey camper as a liberal by all means use it for target practice.


19 posted on 03/18/2006 2:39:31 PM PST by NTW64
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Don't give them any ideas!


20 posted on 03/18/2006 7:48:13 PM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: BenLurkin; derllak

This is what happens when people in a state elect democrats to control things.

Brian Schweitzer is the most pathetic excuse for a governor I've ever seen and I know the guy personally. He's a power mad little tin horn dictator who throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way much like a 5 year old does.

Well.. this is what he people of Montana wanted I guess.


21 posted on 03/21/2006 5:44:28 AM PST by Leatherneck_MT (An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.)
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To: Leatherneck_MT

Yep, that's what you get when you vote in a democrat for Governor....power hungry, tantrum throwing crybabies who pretend what they're doing is for the good of all.
Keep the range where it is. If people are really dumb enough to want to camp near a range and wander around, they deserve to be picked off by a rifle shot. Maybe after awhile, they'll get the message that's it's not such a brilliant thing to do!


22 posted on 03/21/2006 9:06:26 AM PST by derllak
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To: BenLurkin

As a NJ based shooter, I take offense that Montana would cite NJ residents as a reason to close a range. I doubt that very many people from NJ make it out to Montana. And not everyone from NJ is a flaming anti-gun liberal.

Put up a sign that says there is a range nearby, heck, you might actually attract more people. I know I would rather camp where I can shoot and have my guns than someplace that tells me I can't have a gun.


23 posted on 06/27/2006 6:44:49 PM PDT by hmficjim (Beware of the White Knight)
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