Shooting range outcry comes from NIMBYs | AspenTimes.com
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Shooting range outcry comes from NIMBYs

Aspen, CO Colorado

The term NIMBY now appears in American dictionaries because “not in my backyard” is a common sentiment that surfaces almost whenever a building project is proposed in a nice neighborhood. The term is vaguely pejorative because most NIMBYs are seen as selfish: “Put your project somewhere else, where I don’t have to see it, smell it or hear it.”

At least, however, most NIMBYs can say that they arrived before the perceived disturbance, and that they’re only trying to protect what they already have.

And that’s what makes the latest uproar about the Lake Christine shooting range so absurd. The range has existed on Colorado Division of Wildlife land on the outskirts of downtown Basalt for more than 30 years, but the noise complaints are a relatively new phenomenon, having surfaced in the last 10-or-so years. Instead of protecting or preserving a place or a lifestyle, the complainers seem to want to change Basalt, or at least a piece of Basalt, for their own reasons.

The DOW has already made a number of compromises in deference to Basalt’s growth and changing demographics ” reducing the hours of the range, eliminating automatic weapons and erecting noise barriers (at a cost of $200,000). This seems reasonable and sufficient to us, given the range’s longstanding value to the town and the entire valley. And the DOW has made it clear the range will not be closed.

How much more the range should do to reduce noise is utterly subjective. We would suggest that the onus is on those who complain ” the NIMBYs ” to pay for any additional noise barriers and improvements. Perhaps new noise-reduction measures are a good idea, but they are not a Town of Basalt or Division of Wildlife responsibility.


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