Relief from gunfire noise on horizon |

Relief from gunfire noise on horizon

Scott Condon

Basalt residents irritated by the sound of gunfire ringing out from the shooting range by Lake Christine will have to suffer through one more summer, but relief is coming.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has received a $128,000 grant to make changes at its public shooting range, according to Pat Tucker, area manager for the DOW. Those changes will include creating more of a noise buffer, he said.

The grant came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition to the grant, a midvalley sportsmen’s club has pledged $40,000 in in-kind work to help with the improvements, according to Tucker.

The shooting range has existed since the mid-1970s, and complaints about the noise seem to run in cycles. Some residents complain they didn’t move to Basalt to have the tranquility of a summer evening shattered by shotgun, rifle and pistol blasts. Other folks take the noise in stride and acknowledge the shooting range has been around Basalt longer than they have.

Some residents have taken their complaints to the Basalt government, but the Town Council has stayed out of the fray. In fact, when the council approved the high-end Wilds townhomes about eight years ago it reminded the developer that the shooting range was next door and warned that it didn’t want to be confronted by irate homeowners who bought into the project.

Tucker said the wildlife division will explore numerous ways of cutting down the noise emanating from the range. Building berms is probably the most obvious option, but it is also one of the most expensive, he said.

The DOW will also look at the cost of earth work to angle down the various ranges into the ground to reduce the noise pollution.

The agency has until September 2005 to spend the federal grant money. Work will likely start next spring, Tucker said.

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