Sunday July 4, 2010
As a result of language that was inserted by Congressman Duncan Hunter into the National Defense Authorization Act 2011, MajGen Anthony Jackson the Commanding General of Marine Corps Installation West, has directed MCAS Miramar to re-assess the current situation and determine if there is a means to allow SDSSA to resume firing on the range. MajGen Jackson tasked the Commanding Officer of MCAS Miramar to convene an Operational Planning Team in order to determine all possible courses of actions that are operational and meet their environmental responsibilities under CERCLA.
The meetings were held during the week of 14 June 2010. SDSSA was invited to and did attend the meetings. Following the CG’s planning guidance, three Courses of Actions were agreed upon and one was recommened. The brief has been completed and is being reviewed by the CG for presentation up the chain of command. As the CO of MCAS Miramar commented during his briefing, the completed OPT brief could and most probably would be modified during the review process.
The OPT completed brief will be a power point presentation to the CG MCIWEST with the final product of the OPT being forwarded up the chain of command. After The Secretary of the Navy is briefed he will give a report to Congress with his recommendations.
This has been a positive development for SDSSA and this action has been fast tracked by the marines, so it’s probable we will have an answer sooner than later.
|Saturday April 10, 2010
THANK YOU . Your voices have been heard. From the amount of feedback we have received, quite a few people have taken the initiative and wrote letters. The Marine Corps response to the letters is not what many expected or wanted to hear. The Corps response is an accurate interpretation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) assessment that they have initiated. Although they may be well intentioned, we believe the Marine Corps’ position regarding the application of CERCLA as it relates to the SDSSA range is unwarranted and unnecessary.
Unfortunately, the marines have decided to go forward with a CERCLA assessment of the range with, apparently, the possibility of later conducting a multi-million dollar remediation (we have heard an estimate of $20 -$30 million). Once a CERCLA Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation has been complete, the PA/SI will identify further actions that may be necessary under federal law. The PA/SI report is currently in draft form, not yet finalized. Results are expected in the early spring. We have been assured that we will receive a copy of the final report.
SDSSA have been in contact with the EPA and they have confirmed to SDSSA that a CERCLA investigation is not required for operating shooting ranges and that a lead management program is an appropriate way to address environmental concerns. SDSSA has collected and recycled its lead shot many times in its 35-year history at the base, both on and off the leased property. As a condition of our lease, we have prepared a formal Lead Management Plan, pursuant to the EPA’s Best Management Practices, and are ready to continue to address any environmental concerns at the range through our responsible practices.
The difference between SDSSA’s approach on the one hand—responsibly collecting and recycling lead shot, which also generates income—and the Marine Corps—digging up soil at the range and disposing of it as hazardous waste at extreme and unnecessary cost—illustrates that the Marine Corps’ position is wholly unwarranted.
SDSSA is working closely with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Congressman Duncan Hunter in formulating a strategy and putting together a plan that will show, what we feel is the best, most logical and cost effective way to address the environmental concerns.
Your letters have been read and have made an impact. The response has been overwhelming. Thank you, again. Your continued support is acknowledged and greatly appreciated.
|Saturday March 6, 2010
Since October 2008 SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association has been under a CEASE FIRE ORDER issued by MCAS Miramar. The reason given for the CEASE FIRE was that lead shot had been leaving our lease hold.
A short history of SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association; originally founded as the North Island Gun Club in 1947 the range was located at North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado, CA.. At the request of the Navy the facilities were moved to Miramar Naval Air Station in 1957 where it remained until 1975. Once again at the request of the Navy we were asked to relocate to another location on base. New facilities were constructed and opened on February 11th, 1977 on Miramar Naval Air Station. In 1997 the Naval Air station was transferred to the Command of the United States Marine Corps and was designated as Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar.
SDSSA has hosted monthly NSSA registered skeet shoots as well as monthly ATA registered shoots. Among the most attended NSSA shoot at SDSSA was the annual Grey Silva Memorial. A highlight of our skeet program was being selected the NSSA Range of the year in 2007. SDSSA is very proud of our nationally recognized Scholastic Clays Target Program. The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is an educational-athletic organization that exists to introduce school-age youths to the clay target sports and to facilitate their continued involvement by providing, promoting, and perpetuating opportunities to safely and enjoyably participate and compete in a high-quality, team-based sport led by trained adult coaches focused on enhancing the personal growth and development of their athletes.
San Diego has been a destination for International trap shooters from around the world.
With the only two Olympic trap bunkers in San Diego County, SDSSA has been instrumental in the early development of local Olympic trap hopefuls. Our facility has attracted some of the world’s best Olympic shooters. The Maple Leaf and Maple Bear shoots are two of the most popular Olympic shoots in the country. SDSSA has been a supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association is dedicated to helping paralyzed veterans find ways to regain their independence and rebuild their lives. One of the ways that they accomplish that mission is through a vigorous shooting program and the SDSSA has been a valued supporter of those efforts for several years. Local Boy Scouts of America and church groups have found a home at SDSSA. Our monthly Introduction to Shotgun Sports classes as well as Hunter Safety classes have taught hundreds of new shooters basic gun safety; at the same time letting them experience the fun of the clay target sports. SDSSA has consistently provided a safe shooting environment for beginners as well as the seasoned shotgun sports enthusiast for over 30 years.
The consequence of the CEASE FIRE ORDER has been an end to all NSSA and ATA registered shoots. The SCTP has been suspended, and halt to all recreational and organized shooting at SDSSA.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We’re asking everyone that enjoys the shooting sports, everyone that has enjoyed shooting at SDSSA, people that are concerned with the number of shooting ranges that are being shutdown. We’re asking members of DU, QU, NSCA, SCTP, PVA, NSSA, ATA, other shooting ranges, and members of the NRA.
Please take a few minutes and send off a letter to officials listed below.
You can help in SDSSA’s efforts to reopen what many people feel is Southern California’s Finest Shotgun Sports Center.
The members and friends of SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association would like to thank everyone for their continued support.
The Honorable Ray Mabus
Office of the Secretary of the Navy
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-2000
General James T. Conway
Commandant of the Marine Corps
2 Navy Annex Washington, DC 20380-1775
Colonel Frank A. Richie, Commanding Officer
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
PO Box 452001 San Diego, CA. 92145-2001
Congressman Brian Bilbray
462 Stevens Ave. Suite 107
Solana Beach, CA. 92075
Congressman Duncan Hunter
1870 Cordell Ct. Suite 206
El Cajon, CA. 92020
Congressman Darrell Issa
1800 Thibodo Road, Suite 310
Vista , CA. 92081
Thank you in advance for taking that few minutes to write. And SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association thanks you for your continued support.
Wednesday February 17, 2010
The following is the SDSSA’s Executive Summary of the PA/SI report. This summary was prepared for us by Dr. Richard Peddicord. Dick Peddicord is a leading expert in Environmental Assessment and Management. You can read more about Mr. Peddicord by clicking on his website, http://www.dickpeddicord.com/.
SDSSA is taking the necessary steps to aggressively challenge the CERCLA process. We are of the opinion that the CERCLA process initiated by MCAS Miramar is not required and that a comprehensive Lead Management Plan should be able to address the environmental concerns.
In our discussions with members of Congress and the Marines, both have intimated that SDSSA had a very active letter writing campaign. Writing letters is a way we can get their attention. Writing letters work. Writing a letter to our Congressman is our Chain of Command. Please take a few minutes to write a letter and send it off. You don’t have to be a member of SDSSA to write. Anyone who has enjoyed shooting at SDSSA should write: Organizations, DU, QU, NSCA, SCTP, PVA, NSSA, ATA, other shooting ranges, and members of the NRA, anyone that wants to. SDSSA is asking for your help.
Above, you will find a list of names and addresses of people that can influence our course of action. You can help influence them. Let them know how the cease fire has impacted you and why in your opinion SDSSA should remain open to the public, national shooting programs and to active and retired military personnel. Open to anyone who enjoys shotgun shooting sports.
Sunday January 31, 2010
An update on the PA/SI (Preliminary Assessment / Site Investigation Report:)
We have received a copy of the report from Miramar. I have read the report and could tell you what the report states, but in all honesty I couldn’t tell you what the report means.
We have asked Dick Peddicord; a leading expert in Environmental Lead Management, to review the report and prepare a response that an average person such as me can clearly understand. We hope to receive Dick’s response this week. Once we receive it, the findings will be posted on our website.
Monday January 4, 2010
The Commanding Officer of MCAS Miramar has renewed our license through June 30, 2010. The license allows us continued access to the range - at no cost to SDSSA - for administrative purposes while the Marines Corps completes a Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection (PA/SI) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
A draft copy of the report is expected in a few weeks. SDSSA will be provided a copy of the report. We are discussing ideas and devising plans in anticipation of what may be in the report. It has been 15 months since we were ordered to close the range to shooting. In that time a lot has transpired. There have been numerous meetings, phone conversations and a trip to Washington, D.C. all trying to resolve this situation. This has been a long drawn out process. SDSSA has cooperated with and supplied the Marine Corps with anything and everything they have requested from us. SDSSA anticipates and looks forward to continued cooperation with the Marine Corps in 2010.
Speaking not as the President of SDSSA, but, as one member of our Association, I want to thank all members and friends of SDSSA for your efforts and continued support of SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association.
Wednesday December 23, 2009
We have been told that the PA/SI (Preliminary Assessment/ Site Inspection) report is still due in December, but, no later than January. The report follows EPA guidelines and at this point there is nothing that can be done until the report is complete. Our request to open 4 fields while the PA/SI is ongoing has been denied. No shooting will be allowed while the environmental testing is being done.
We had expected that a license extension would be in place by the end of the year. That does not look to be the case. We have been assured that the license extension has been granted. It is just a matter of bureaucratic action required from the Air Station. We also have been assured by the Commandant of the Marine Corps office that SDSSA will be given license extensions while the lease and environmental process is ongoing. A license allows SDSSA to occupy and continue operations allowed in the lease, rent free, except for shooting.
I know people are frustrated, perhaps angry at the whole situation SDSSA finds itself in. Believe me; you’re not alone in those feelings.
SDSSA in all our configurations has a long history on Miramar and North Island with the Navy and Marine Corps. SDSSA has 581 members. We are an institution that is not going away. We will resolve these issues.
Our Association, needs the support of all its members.
|Monday November 30, 2009
MCAS Miramar has confirmed that they are still expecting the PA/SI (Preliminary Assessment/ Site Inspection) report to be completed in December. We also expect to have an extension of the license in place sometime in December. Although SDSSA does not have a lease, the license issued by the marines allows us to continue operations such as they are until a new lease can be signed.
|Tuesday November 10, 2009
We have received a few emails from some concerned members about the lack of information being posted on our website. I have been lax in my postings and perhaps something should be posted if only to keep in touch with our membership. At this time there is nothing new to report. We are waiting for the PA/SI (Preliminary Assessment/ Site Inspection) report due in December from MCAS. I talk with Congressman Hunter's military liaison in Washington D.C. every couple of weeks and stay in touch with MCAS Miramar. Congressman Hunter and Major General Payne advise us that there is really nothing that can be done until the PA/SI report is complete. At this point in time, all we can do is wait. Please don't confuse the perceived lack of available information as inaction on the part of SDSSA.
Tuesday September 8, 2009
We received a response from Major General Payne to our request to open four fields to shooting while the PA/SI is ongoing. In part, his letter dated August 24, 2009 informed SDSSA that he received our proposal; unfortunately the copy of our Lead Management Plan was not with the letter. Maj. Gen. Payne requested another copy of the LMP be forwarded to him. Upon receipt of the LMP he will expeditiously review our proposal and respond. Additionally, Maj. Gen. Payne reminded us that the ongoing PA/SI involves several other agencies in San Diego including the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the regional Water Quality Control Board, Corps of Engineers and others that would ultimately be part of the decision to approve our interim request. While this news was disappointing and certainly not encouraging, it was not entirely surprising. As Duncan Hunter correctly pointed out, the Marine Corps has a few other things on their plate right now including a couple of wars to fight.
At Wednesday’s Board of Directors meeting a decision was made to study ways to cut costs further and conserve cash on hand pending the outcome of the PA/SI. We will no doubt have some expenses at that point related to requirements imposed by the current study. Although those expenses are not known at this time, as a board, we need to be as prepared as possible to meet those cash needs. One of the cost cutting measures we discussed was to move the trap machines out of the houses and avoid the inevitable yearly winter cost of pumping out the houses every time it rains. We also discussed cutting the range hours. The board will again be discussing, making recommendations and voting on how best to cut our expenses at our regularly scheduled meeting. I encourage members to attend the Board of Directors meeting on Thursday September 10, 2009 at 5pm.
We met with Congressman Duncan Hunter on Wednesday morning and despite the fact that there is little SDSSA can do to expedite or improve the outcome of PA/SI report due in November/December, Duncan Hunter is quite optimistic that the ultimate outcome will favor SDSSA.
The SDSSA Board of Director’s along with Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Duncan Hunter are committed to doing everything possible to see our range reopened to shooting as soon as possible.
To all our members and friends of SDSSA; I know I speak for the entire Board of Director’s when I say thank you for all your continued support during this trying time for our Association. Please continue to check our website for accurate updates and log on to our blog www.sandiegoshotgunsportsassociation.blogspot.com to post your comments.
Wednsday, August 12, 2009
I received an e-mail today from the Land Use and Real Estate Manager of MCAS Miramar and a phone call from Congressman Duncan Hunter’s D.C. office. The call from MCAS Miramar was a follow up to an earlier phone conversation I had with them on Tuesday.
The following is the e-mail I received from Miramar.
Good morning Mr. Keefe
Just wanted to get back with you regarding our phone conversation
yesterday. I did check with our Environmental Department and we are still
on track for a December completion of the Preliminary Assessment / Site
Other than this document still tracking we don't have any new
developments or changes since the last time we spoke. If anything new does
come up - I'll keep you informed.
Congressman Hunter’s office called to say that they have been in contact with Major General Payne’s office. General Payne’s Chief of Staff said he is in the process of reviewing our interim range proposal. I would anticipate an answer by the end of August.
When more news becomes available I will post it here and at; www.sandiegoshotgunsportsassociation.blogspot.com
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I had a phone conversation with MCAS Miramar this morning (08-11-09). They informed me that the PA/SI is still ongoing. A report of the findings is due in October or November. That information is consistent with what we have been told in the past. SDSSA is actually dealing with two departments on MCAS Miramar. One is the realty division that is responsible for the lease discussions and the other is the environmental department which is coordinating the PA/SI study under CERCLA. Congressman Hunter did add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act F.Y. 2010 (H.R. 2647) that states in part; " The committee encourages the Secretary of the Navy to complete the PA/SI as rapidly as possible so that appropriate mitigation measures may be taken and the range reopened without undue delay. The committee directs the Secretary to submit a report to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives when the PA/SI is completed. The report should include a description of any mitigation measures needed and time line to complete, and plans and time line to reopen the range."
There continues to be ongoing conversation between all parties. All avenues are being explored and we continue our efforts to get SDSSA reopened to shooting.
Monday, August 10, 2009
There has been no response as of yet from the marines in regards to the interim range proposal we submitted to Major General Payne. I have been in contact with Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office and they are following up with the Commandant’s office.
I am as frustrated as many of our members about the situation SDSSA finds itself in. SDSSA is in a wait and see mode as of now. The PA/SI should take until the fall before we can expect any report. Consequently, we find ourselves sitting around with our fingers up our butts waiting. The interim range proposal was something that Major General Payne said he would consider. There is no guarantee. We put a lot of effort into putting that proposal together and to us it seems like a no brainer. I’m sure Major General Payne is reviewing our proposal and I certainly expect a response in the near future. I would like to remind everyone that the Commandant and Major General Payne have expressed their support and desire to see that everything is done to insure the reopening of SDSSA to shooting. Unfortunately when you’re dealing with environmental issues it seems like there is no common sense or easy solutions. We are trying to schedule a meeting with Congressman Hunter while he is home during the August recess. When a date is set I will pass on the information to the membership. I know that as more time goes by the feeling is that SDSSA may not reopen. I still believe that a solution will be found and we will reopen. Thank you to everyone that has continued to express their support for SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association has sent a proposal to Major General Payne Deputy Assistant Commandant, USMC, and to Congressman Duncan Hunter requesting permission to allow us to reopen four fields to shooting while the PA/SI (CERCLA) is ongoing. As part of the requirements for consideration SDSSA must insure that no lead will leave our leasehold. The proposal we presented lays out a plan that shows no lead will leave our leasehold. Review of our shot fall diagrams and limiting shot sizes to #8 for trap and #9 for skeet, it looks like (after field testing) we can stay inside our lease boundaries. To insure that only # 8 and #9 shot will be used SDSSA will require that only new factory shells be used during this interim period. We understand that this proposed interim solution that requires only new factory shells is a concern and may be a financial hardship on some people. Please understand that if this plan is accepted by the marines that this is an interim solution that will enable shooting to resume at SDSSA on a limited basis. In my view, that's a good thing.
|Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Hunter Prepares Amendment to Reopen Miramar Gun Range
Congressman Duncan Hunter continues to work on behalf of The SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association. Click here on Congressman Hunter’s website to read the full text of the Amendment.
|Monday, June 1, 2009 - A meeting was held Tuesday, May 20, 2009 in Congressman Duncan Hunters Washington DC office. Attendees were Congressman Duncan Hunter, Major General E.G. Payne, Deputy Assistant Commandant, U.S.M.C., Robert Keefe, President SDSSA, Richard Peddicord PhD, President Environmental Range Protection, and Jimmy Thomas, Military Legislative Assistant for Duncan Hunter, Robert Boland, Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Brian Bilbray.
Congressman Hunter was focused and on point in expressing his desire to see SDSSA remain open. Mr. Hunter was very blunt in his assessment of the whole lease process and with the environmental concerns of MCAS Miramar towards SDSSA’s shooting operations. Congressman Hunter and Major General Payne both are dismayed at the turn of events and are unable to comprehend how the situation between SDSSA and MCAS has reached this point.
Major General Payne is well informed and all indications point to the fact that he is an active participant in the discussions concerning SDSSA. I believe he and the Commandant want to work with Mr. Hunter to get SDSSA reopened. Major General Payne has firsthand knowledge of SDSSA’s physical layout from having visited our site and walked the fence line and San Clemente Canyon. It was refreshing to talk with a marine that is willing to work with us at finding ways for SDSSA to remain open as opposed to, what seemed to me, people working to find ways to close us. I came away from the meeting with a renewed optimism on SDSSA’s future. We have two congressmen working on our behalf, as well as the Deputy Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps who is open and agreeable to finding solutions to the environmental concerns confronting SDSSA.
At the June 11, 2009 Board of Directors meeting I will have a complete report along with our immediate plans for the future of SDSSA. Thank you for your continued support.
| Saturday, May 2, 2009 - There has been some recent dialogue between SDSSA and MCAS Miramar. The marines requested some history of past range improvements and our Lead Management Plan. We have not as of yet been able to meet with the Commanding Officer or Executive Officer. We have expressed our desire to meet with them. This is a link to a copy of the letter that Congressman Hunter sent to The Commandant of The Marine Corps.
Mr. Hunter has received a response from the Commandant’s office. We have been informed that at this point in time there are no plans to stop the environmental response. There is renewed congressional activity on behalf of SDSSA. All our local representatives as well as others have been contacted and there is a coordinated effort lead by Congressman Hunter to find a solution to the MCAS’s environmental concerns. Thank you to all our members and friends of SDSSA for the letters and e-mails in support of SDSSA
|Monday, March 23, 2009 - As President of SDSSA I believe, and this is what I proposed at the March Board of Directors meeting, is that we need to be more proactive in dealing with MCAS Miramar. Up to this point we have allowed MCAS to set the agenda. By allowing them to do that SDSSA has lost valuable time. Congressman Hunter has sent the Commandant of the Marine Corps a letter requesting a stop to the latest MCAS Miramar’s environmental study. If he is successful we need to have a plan ready to bring to the table. I want SDSSA to be able to present a plan that will offer a solution to the issues that are directly related to the environmental concerns facing us. I believe the new plan, when presented with our new Lead Management Plan will convey to the command of MCAS our commitment to working in partnership with the marines to reopen SDSSA to shooting. To accomplish this SDSSA will be retaining a Biological Consultant to prepare a plan in much the same way that Dick Peddicord prepared our Lead Management Plan. We have started our search for a Biological Consultant and we expect to have a consultant on retainer in the very near future.
A person could reasonably conclude that MCAS Miramar’s actions to this point have been to permanently close SDSSA. I don’t necessarily believe that to be the case. I have learned that when dealing with the military and environmentalists, things usually are never easy. In the case of SDSSA the two may actually be working with different agendas.
SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association has only one agenda. That agenda has always been and will continue to be, to do everything in our power to get the cease fire lifted and reopen SDSSA to shooting.
Sunday, March 8, 2009 - We have been receiving emails with questions inquiring about the state of the lease negotiations with MCAS Miramar. As I have mentioned in past posts, just because there is no new or recent news to post please don’t take that for inaction.
After our meeting with Congressman Hunter and discussing different options, SDSSA decided on a new course of action. SDSSA has had no direct contact with MCAS Miramar preferring to let Congressman Hunter to pursue the new course of action. Congressman Hunter is actively involved and working on our behalf. He has been in contact with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway and has sent letters to the Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West, Major General Michael R. Lehnert and Commanding Officer, MCAS Miramar, Colonel Christopher O’Conner.
At this point in the discussions, Congressman Hunter is asking the marines for clarification on the reasoning behind the CERCLA environmental response MCAS Miramar is developing and he has proposed an alternative solution to those environmental concerns. Dealing with government bureaucracy can at times be frustrating. In SDSSA’s case we are dealing with a double barrel of bureaucracy with the lease negotiations and the environmental issues.
I will make every effort to update the web posts to keep our membership informed.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 -
Our meeting with Congressman Duncan D. Hunter went well. We prepared a document beforehand for Mr. Hunter that provided a complete history of SDSSA’s discussions and negotiations with MCAS Miramar and Mr. Hunter came to the meeting fully prepared and with a firm grasp of the challenges SDSSA is facing. The Congressman outlined a new course of action that he will take in his discussions with the marines. In our conversations with elected officials and active duty and retired military personnel, all agree that the environmental issues SDSSA now face are not insurmountable and a common sense approach and solution should be reached. We look forward to working with Congressman Hunter and his staff as well as our own lead management and environmental experts and have every expectation in being able to come to a solution to the environmental concerns facing SDSSA and MCAS Miramar. Again and always, I want to thank all our members and the entire sporting community for their continued support.
With everyone’s help SDSSA mounted a letter writing campaign that was very effective in getting our viewpoint and concerns be known to the marines as well as our elected officials. With the recent election of Congressman Duncan D. Hunter to the House of Representatives, I’m asking all our members and friends to once again write letters and make phone calls to your local, state and Federal representatives. Every letter and phone call is logged and your voice will be heard. Please remind them that we are still here and still have the same concerns and we want to see a common sense solution to the environmental problems SDSSA and MCAS Miramar are facing.
Monday, February 2, 2009 -
The following is my response to a letter received last week from a member of SDSSA.
I can't believe that we are still unable to shoot at the SDSSA facility.
Unfortunately because of the ongoing environmental concerns raised and reported by MCAS Miramar, the cease fire is still in effect and negotiations for a new lease are stalled pending further environmental studies by MCAS Miramar.
How big is this problem? Do we have tons of shot on the ground or a few B-B's?
The problem is a concern to the marines because of the impact to environmentally sensitive habitat. It’s not necessarily the amount of lead leaving our leasehold as to the effect to the vernal pools and other sensitive habitat. Why, after 31 years of shooting, is this now a problem? Over the course of 31 years, environmental regulations and our landlord’s policies regarding treatment of environmental resources on the base have essentially grown up around our range. This is likely true for nearly every range in California.
I'm making light of a huge major problem, but lead shot off the lease. Or could someone be making a mountain out of a mole hill?
The USMC has established an environmental policy in compliance with regulatory and planning processes, such as those required by the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water Act. For more information, click on MCAS’s environmental website page.
Why can't the field(s) with shot leaving the lease be temporarily closed until a solution is arranged and clean-up is complete? Why the entire facility?
SDSSA has 29.83 acres with 12 fields. The Preliminary Site Evaluation of Shotgun Pellet Overshot report initiated and paid for by the marines, indicate that lead shot is leaving our leasehold from every field. We have asked the marines to allow us to reopen 4 fields, but, were told because of the ongoing environmental studies that it would not be possible at this time.
Is this an attempt to close the facility permanently? We have more than our share of anti-gun folks around.
I don’t believe the current situation SDSSA finds itself in is an attempt to permanently close our facility. Our lease was structured so as it could be terminated at anytime by MCAS Miramar. The marines could have simply not renewed our lease. Once lead was found to be leaving our lease area and reported by the MCAS environmental department on Miramar, the marines were required to make a response.
Is our local congressman working with us on this problem? Do we need to get another letter writing campaign going? Are we supposed to be doing more? Sitting here getting worked up isn't helping as far as I can tell.
SDSSA had been working with Congressman Duncan L. Hunter before his retirement and continue to work with Congressman Duncan D. Hunter. SDSSA has a meeting tentatively scheduled with Mr. Hunter on February 6, 2009 to discuss our situation and our plans to move forward to resolve the environmental issues we are facing. My personal feeling is that it can never hurt to continue letting our elected officials and the base commander know how you feel. You can find their contact information on the website.
What can I/we do?
As you may know, dealing with any bureaucracy can be at times frustrating and time consuming. SDSSA has met all milestones put forward by the marines in a timely manner. We have retained specialist in lead management and received reports from environmentalist and talked with biologists regarding our situation. Because of the latest environmental study initiated by the marines, discussions between SDSSA and the marines have been minimal. SDSSA, in accordance with advice given by the EPA, has put together a draft lead management and environmental stewardship plan addressing the issues and with help from Congressman Hunter look forward to presenting it to the marines in the very near future.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to support SDSSA and know that we are doing all we can to have the cease fire order lifted.
Sunday, January 25, 2009 -
SDSSA remains open every day 9AM to 1PM. Closed Sunday. There is nothing of substance to report concerning lease or environmental discussions between SDSSA and MCAS Miramar. Please don’t take the lack of news as inaction on our part. We continue to work towards finding solutions to the issues facing us.
We are still waiting to meet with Congressman Hunter. We are in contact with his office and will meet with Mr. Hunter as soon as his schedule permits.
Thank you to all our members and the shooting community who continue to support SDSSA.
Monday, January 19, 2009 -
There is no news to report concerning our lease discussions. SDSSA continues consultations with experts in the environmental field and to evaluate our options in reference to the environmental issues. We have been in contact with Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and are hoping to schedule a meeting with him possibly as early as Monday January 19, 2009.
Thank you to all members that have already sent in their annual dues. Our Association’s continued operation is dependent on the dues payments. Thank you to all our members and the shooting community that have made donations to SDSSA. Your support for SDSSA has been overwhelming and much appreciated. Please, if you have not sent back your dues it’s not too late. You can save us time and money by remitting your dues payment today.
The 2009 Annual Meeting is scheduled for February 7, 2009. Members should have received the flyer in the mail. Check the February newsletter elsewhere on our website for all the information.
Mark the date and plan to attend. Hope to see you all there.
Thursday, January 1, 2009 -
On behalf of The SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.
To update you on our lease; the license authorized by the Commanding Officer of MCAS Miramar was signed on December 22, 2008. It allows SDSSA the continued use of the property while a solution is worked out to the environmental concerns facing SDSSA and MCAS. The cease fire is still in effect. I anticipate those discussions will pick up after the holidays.
I would like to thank all SDSSA members for their continued support to our Association. Annual dues are coming in at an unprecedented rate. I would also like to thank those annual members that made an additional monetary contribution to the Association and our Life members that likewise made a contribution. A very special thanks for supporting your Association during this period of no income. Once again you have shown that extra commitment to the continued well being of The SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association
|Saturday, December 20 - As 2008 comes to a close, TheSAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association finds itself in an unprecedented situation. In the course of lease discussions with MCAS, Miramar it was brought to our attention by the marines that lead shot was falling beyond our lease boundary. An environmental study was commissioned by the marines to ascertain to what extent the lead was impacting the environmentally sensitive habitat. As result of that study, MCAS, Miramar ordered a cease fire at our range. We have received a letter from the Commanding Officer of MCAS informing us that the marines are currently formulating plans to conduct another environmental study. We have been told that this environmental assessment should take 3 to 4 months to complete. Because of this new environmental assessment, SDSSA will not reopen for shooting as soon as we had hoped. We are looking at a date sometime in the second quarter of 2009. SDSSA has been working with the marines along with federal, state and local officials to find a solution and come to an agreement that will end the cease fire and enable SDSSA to resume shooting activities. We have retained a leading expert in lead management and assessment to develop a comprehensive Lead Management Plan required by the air station that will be incorporated into a new lease. We are also working closely with a nationally recognized environmentalist that specializes in Best Management Practices for shooting range environmental issues. We have received advice and guidance from the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. We have been in ongoing dialogues with MCAS Miramar concerning our lease and environmental concerns since April 2008. Our current lease expires on December 31, 2008. The marines have issued SDSSA a six month license that allows us continued access to the range for administrative, maintenance and other currently approved purposes under our current lease. No shooting activities are authorized under this license. We are working tirelessly towards finding a solution to the challenging issues facing SDSSA at this time. SDSSA is open 9AM to 1PM, Monday thru Saturday.
Saturday, December 6 - The dialog continues between SDSSA and MCAS, Miramar. We have not presented our LMP as of yet. We continue to work with the marines towards a solution to their environmental concerns. We have some of the nation’s best environmental experts in shooting range lead management and assessment working with us. I am confident we will work out an agreement that will enable us to continue operating as SDSSA at our current location. The cease fire is still in effect until further notice. I wish I was able to provide a date when shooting will resume, but, please understand SDSSA is doing all we can and exploring every avenue in the hope of having the cease fire lifted as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience and letters of support. SDSSA and MCAS along with our State and Federal officials are working diligently to see that SDSSA will reopen as soon as possible.
Below are District Office addresses and phone numbers along with Colonel Christopher E. O’Conner, Commanding Officer of MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar below.
|Saturday, November 22 - SDSSA has reviewed the draft of our LMP and is in the process of finalizing the report before delivery to the marines. We are on schedule and hope to present the report along with lease considerations to the marines by the last week of November. Due to the long Thanksgiving weekend, the delivery may be pushed back a week.
I would like to address a rumor concerning alleged comments made by the Commandant of The Marines and Commanding Officer of MCAS, Miramar. After my conversations with people that were present at the event and with someone with knowledge of the conversation, the comments were part of a private conversation and have been widely misconstrued and taken out of context. I was not party to the conversation in question and will not comment on what was supposedly said. Suffice to say, discussions between SDSSA and MCAS involving our lease and lead issues continue to be cordial and in good faith.
|Saturday, November 15 -
Thursday morning (11/13) SDSSA, along with Congressman Duncan Hunter, representatives from Congressman Brian Bilbray and State Assemblyman Martin Garrick’s office met with acting C.O. of MCAS, Miramar, Lt. Col. Jeffery Koffel, Executive Officer, Lt. Col. Christopher Manis, Installation and Logistics, Antoinette Perez , Real Estate Division and Mr. Moog and Mr. Spencer of MCAS, Environmental Division.
It was a productive meeting in which Mr. Hunter suggested a common sense solution to resolve the differences SDSSA and MCAS finds us in. Mr. Hunter also commented that he and the SECNAV want to find the solution that will enable SDSSA to remain open. Both Mr. Hunter and the Secretary of the Navy agree that SDSSA provides an important service to the community and the United States Marines Corps.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like things will be resolved until after the first of 2009. Our lease expires on 12-31-08 so our first priority is to have a new lease in place by then. We are making progress on that front. Presently we are reviewing the preliminary draft copy of SDSSA’s new Lead Management Plan. We expect to deliver it to the marines by the end of the month.
During the meeting we discussed in length the issue of shot leaving our lease boundaries. Congressman Hunter proposed an immediate first step to help correct that problem. The MCAS’s environmental department is reviewing the plan. It was also brought to everyone’s attention that the SECNAV and Mr. Hunter would not like to see any road blocks put in place that would slow the process of correcting the problems that both SDSSA and MCAS may face in securing a new lease and re-opening SDSSA.
Please don’t let up on the letters. Your support has been noticed by all involved. Lt. Col. Koffel commented to me that SDSSA has a very active letter writing campaign and that he is responding to the letters. We have added Congressman Darrell Issa to the list of contacts. Mr. Issa has been made aware of the situation and is ready to help. Thank you for the letters of support and thank you for your patience in this matter. SDSSA and MCAS along with our State and Federal officials are working diligently to see that SDSSA will reopen as soon as possible.
You will find their District Office addresses and phone numbers along with Colonel Christopher E. O’Conner, Commanding Officer of MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar below.
Saturday, November 8 - We received a copy of the preliminary report from MCAS on Friday November 7, and are in the process of reviewing it. We have also received a rough draft of our Lead Managemwnt Plan (LMP) document from our consultant. We are in the process of reviewing it and making any needed revisions before submitting the final LMP document to the Marines for their review.
There is a meeting scheduled for next week that will include SDSSA, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Congressman Brian Bilbray, State Assemblyman Martin Garrick, Col. Christopher O’Conner, Commanding Officer, MCAS Miramar and Lt Col. Christopher Manis, Director of Installations and Logistics, MCAS Miramar.
The letter writing campaign continues to be positive. Please, if you haven’t written a letter, take a few minutes and do so. If it’s more convenient, you can call or fax your congressman.
Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to correspond to me as well as the congressmen and Commanding Officer of MCAS. All the letters, calls and faxes can only help our cause.
|Friday, October 31 - We have yet to receive a response from the Marines to our request for a copy of the preliminary report.
SDSSA has retained the services of an expert in environmental assessment and lead management to help us in developing a lead management plan. The Lead Management Plan/Best Management Practices (LMP/BMP) is a precondition required by the Marines prior to a lease extension.
There has been a good response to the letter writing campaign. California State Assemblyman from the 74th assembly district and SDSSA Life Member, Martin Garrick, has offered his assistance in the lease discussions with the Marines. We look forward to working with Mr. Garrick as well as Mr. Hunter and Mr. Bilbray.
|Tuesday, October 28 - Thank you to all that have written letters. The response has been very positive. Along with Congressman Hunter and Colonel O’Conner, I would like to add Congressman Brian Bilbray to the list for our members and friends who live in North County. When writing, please remember the USMC is a friend of SDSSA.
Thursday, October 23 - I would like to say thank you again, for all the suggestions and offers of help. One thing everyone who is concerned about the future of SDSSA can do is write your Congressman and MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar. All that needs to be addressed is what SDSSA means to you.
SDSSA offers programs such as introduction to shotgun sports, hunter safety and Boy Scout merit badge. We are a training facility for Olympic hopefuls as well and have a nationally recognized Scholastic Clays Target Program. SDSSA supports the Paralyzed Veterans of America, who hold their Annual National trap shoot at our range. At our present location on MCAS Miramar, SDSSA / Miramar Trap and Skeet Club have been a local, world-class shotgun sports venue for over 30 years. Navy personnel as well as the Marines have had shotgun training at our range. SDSSA is the only shotgun sports venue in San Diego County that offers monthly ATA registered trap shoots and NSSA skeet shoots.
I received a letter that was copied to Congressman Hunter from a 13 year old boy who has a goal of shooting in the 2012 Olympic Games. SDSSA is the only local range with international bunkers that enable him to practice. That boy along with all the other kids in the SCTP is the future of our sport. Take 5 minutes and write a letter.
Tuesday, October 21 - As of close of business Tuesday October 21, we have as yet to hear from or receive a copy of the preliminary environmental report from MCAS Miramar. SDSSA continues to work towards completing the BMP’s needed to proceed with our lease extension. SDSSA will continue to post on this web-site any pertinent information and progress concerning our lease discussions with the Marines.
Friday, October 17 - A preliminary environmental report commissioned by MCAS on the lead shot fall outside our lease area is expected on October 20th. Based on the results of that preliminary report they will begin preparations of a more detailed final report. As a consequence of the preliminary report and the process the Marines must follow before any action can be taken, all shooting activities at SDSSA are suspended for the remainder of 2008. Although there are environmental concerns to deal with, we are still working on getting a lease signed by the end of the year. SDSSA will be submitting a Best Management Practice for lead to the Marines as a required step in a lease extension. Congressman Duncan Hunter has been fully apprised of the situation and is working on our behalf to help SDSSA through this process.
Wednesday, October 15 - We have a meeting scheduled on Thursday with the Marines. The two main topics of discussion will be the new lease and lead issue. Please check the web-site for further updates. On a personal note, I have received numerous e-mails and phone calls. Because of the amount of e-mails I have received I may not have responded to all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their input, suggestions and offers of help.
|Friday, October 10 - In the course of our lease discussions with MCAS Miramar, lead shot was found outside our lease area. Based on those findings, SAN DIEGO Shotgun Sports Association has been ordered by MCAS Miramar to immediately cease all shooting activities until we submit a plan to assure that SDSSA use of the property is in accordance with our lease.
We are actively pursuing all avenues to address and correct this problem of lead outside our lease area. Although all shooting activities have been ordered to cease, our gates are still open. SDSSA would like to apologize for the interruption of a popular sport that our membership, active and retired military and other guests enjoy.