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mailmanBecause there are so many gun clubs in Trumansburg, Lansing, Dryden, Danby, Groton, and Newfield, the revenue from trap shooting is ridiculously small: 6 cents a round. In the case of the Lansing Rod and Gun Club's proposed new trap field in Ludlowville, they plan to shoot 100,000 rounds per year. That's 3.5 tons of lead discharged into the side of a hill 500 feet from the shore of Salmon Creek, a first-class trout stream.

So for all their trouble, the club gets a whopping total of $6,000 annually from trap shooting for their operations. There are gun clubs in this area situated in rural flat fields. They collected $50,000 for recycling their easily recoverable lead. They are in a great location for trap shooting.

The proposed new trap shooting field in Ludlowville is based on the Lansing Rod and Gun Club's fantasy story to EPA that they can recover the lead shot into a wooded hill with a 30-degree slope. According to their plan, this cleanup, by them, will take place every five years.

The gun club is located next to millions of dollars of Lansing residential property. The home owners near the gun club have signed a petition against the 1950s style trap shooting practices of the gun club. People today are less tolerant of having to hear the sound of gun fire on their weekends. These homeowners at some point are likely to hire lawyers - like the gun club did, apparently to intimidate the Town of Lansing's elected officials.

The newly-issued building permit for the new trap field, probably directed to the gun club by Lansing town supervisor Ed LaVigne against the " public' wishes of the planning board and behind the back of the town board, claims that the proposed new trap field, currently the club's rifle range, is already a toxic waste site, apparently arguing for re-siting the trap field there as a question of "what's the problem with a little more lead?"

The reality of the rifle range is that only 1000 rounds are shot there annually. That's 63 pounds of lead a year, probably not that much. The rifle range has been active for 30 years, so there is less than a ton of lead in the eastern corner of the 7-acre field. While not pristine, this site is not, as the Town Supervisor has argued, just another contaminated site like the present trap field. There are no realistic provisions for water run off or storm water protections in the group's new trap shooting plan.

Meanwhile, what about the present trap shooting site, which contains an estimated 200 tons of lead shot into the hillside and Salmon Creek over the past 50 years – upstream of homes, the falls, a swimming area, a state-supported sports fishery, and a protected refuge at Salt Point on Cayuga Lake? No cleanup is planned of this heavily contaminated site.

Because the Lansing Rod and Gun Club is a corporation, the individual members bear no responsibility for their toxic hobby. The millions of dollars needed for a cleanup is left to the tax payers - possibly the people of the Town of Lansing.

If the going gets tough there are 6 other gun clubs nearby, where Lansing Rod and Gun members can enjoy their trap shooting hobby.

Steven Smith
Citizens for a Healthy Salmon Creek Watershed
Lansing, NY
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