Skip to comments.Bad New for McMiller Sports Center in Wisconsin
Posted on 04/07/2009 6:44:24 AM PDT by meeps
A recommendation to close the sporting clays range at McMiller Sports Center has been proposed by Paul Sandgren, WDNR-Superintendent of the Southern Unit of The Kettle Moraine Forest. This is the same person who proposed closure of parts of the forest to deer hunting this past fall.
The contract (lease) with Wern Valley to operate McMiller for the DNR is due to expire (after 15 years) on March 31st. There is no contract up for bid as yet. The Department has asked the lease with Wern Valley be extended on a month to month basis while it makes up its mind what it wants to do. As surely as the sun will rise- the fallout from trying to close the range is only going to prolong the process and create yet another political debate.
Sandgrens argument for closure is based primarily on the damage being done to trees and the environment. Never mind there are over 700 acres dedicated to ski trails that were created by cutting thousands of trees out of the 20,000 acres of the Southern Unit of the Forest. The McMiller sporting clays footprint takes up .0004% of that same forest!
There are serious implications for all sportsmen in this. Some sportsmen believe this is part of an agenda to get rid of McMiller all together. The bottom line is, once again a shooting facility is coming under attack, only this time its coming from the very place sportsmen could hardly have expected it to come from just 15 years ago. Call it a sign of the times.
To be sure, every major hook and bullet group in the State is joining to go to bat on this. The word is out and spreading like wildfire, and Gloria McCutcheon, DNR Superintendent here in the Southeast Region has promised an opportunity for the public to comment at some point. And so it goes. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing for sure who will be the operator of the range in the future or under what terms. Now would be a good time to think about contacting the DNR, your legislator, your organizations and fellow shooters to get the word out. Our kids are going to need a place to shoot some day, where zoning laws and development cant get in the way. McMiller was supposed to be that place, so get going!
You can send a note to Paul here Paul.Sandgren@wisconsin.gov and Gloria here firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it self-sustaining?
McMiller leases it’s land from the DNR. They are always busy. I don’t know the cost of the lease and their upkeep expenses.
I’ve been there once. The husband of a girl I work with is a manager there. Very well run and well taken care of. Very busy place. That would be quite a shame.
In Illinois, the Northbrook Gun Club (trap, skeet and sporting clays) had to move out of Northbrook to the Grayslake area because of property owners and anti-gunners. The area they moved to is next to a small general aviation airport with lots of farmland surrounding it. However, developers are now building hideous ticky-tacky housing nearby. How long before these homeowners start bitching about the “noise”? Even though they are all johnny-come-lately to the area.
McMiller is now run by Milford Hills. I think they took over sometime in the fall of 2009. From what I hear, they plan on giving the place a face lift. I’ve already seen some pretty positive changes. As an avid sporting clays guy, I look forward to seeing what they do come the busy summer months.