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History

The following is a brief outline of events leading up to where we are today:

1940s through 1950s: Camps Hayden was established as a coastal defense base, during World War II. On the grounds the Army constructed a standard 500 yard rifle range and a 25 yard pistol range. After the War, the U.S. Coast Guard continued to use the firing range for training.

March 21, 1958 and January 29, 1959: Clallam County purchased 193 acres of the 518-acre Camp Hayden and this became Salt Creek Recreation Area. Civilians used the shooting range until 1968, when it was closed to expand park activities.

1973: Clallam County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) appointed an advisory committee to locate a site for a new shooting range.

1974: The advisory committee recommended a parcel of land off of Blue Mountain Road. The County land was managed by the DNR and the 311 acre parcel was reconveyed to the County, in accordance with State RCW's.

1984: The range proponents were unable to meet the insurance funding requirement and deadline imposed by the County and the project was later abandoned. The property was returned to the DNR.

1996: The Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association (PNSPA) was formed and two years later were approved as a tax exempt organization.

1998: PNSPA approached the BOCC to develop the shooting range at the Blue Mountain site; the request was not approved.

February 19, 2002: BOCC assign the task of “lead organization” for the site selection to the Parks Board.

December 20, 2002: A site review and recommendation report was given to the Parks Board based on findings from the Shooting Range Siting Committee. The Committee recommended Sadie Creek as the best suited of the six sites under consideration. Click on this link to view the report and recommendations.

September 17, 2003: The Parks Board sends a memo to the BOCC recommending the Sadie Creek site as the preferred site for the proposed shooting range.

July 5 & 6, 2005: Preliminary wetland assessment of proposed site completed by Public Works.  It was determined that the then proposed 1,000 yard site impacted wetlands and would increase permitting requirements and costs.  The 1,000 yard range was removed from the proposal. Click on this link to view the preliminary wetland assessment.

September 22, 2005: County Parks received a letter from Pamela Plancich of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) outlining the process for Reconveyance. Click on this link to view the letter.

November 8, 2005: Letter sent to the Commissioner of Public Lands from the BOCC making an official Reconveyance request. Click on this link to view the letter.

December 8, 2005: County Parks receives a letter from then Olympic Region Manager Charlie Cortelyou supporting the Reconveyance and asking several questions regarding the site and potential problem areas.

December 19, 2005: County Parks responds to December 8th letter stating that a reply to the questions would be forth coming.

June 6, 2006: County Parks responds to letter from DNR dated December 8, 2005.

August 7, 2006: County Parks receives a letter from DNR Olympic Region Manager Charlie Cortelyou with three additional areas for clarification.

September 12, 2006: County Parks responds to August 7th letter to DNR.

October 3, 2006: County Parks receives a request for a meeting with Susan Trettevik and others from the DNR. The agenda included the following topics: Steps Prior to Reconveyance, Management Issues, Boundary Discussion, and Staking/Surveying. 

October 30, 2006: Meeting is held with DNR to discuss issues outlined in October 3rd letter from DNR.

November 7, 2006: Meeting minutes are received from DNR from October 30th meeting. Click on this link to view the minutes.

November 30, 2006: Received notice that Susan Trettevik has been promoted to another position and is no longer project contact.

December 6, 2006: County Parks sends Cathy Baker, current DNR contact, letter from the Interagency Committee on Outdoor Recreation (IAC) regarding the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) as requested. Click on this link to view letter.

December 11, 2006: County Parks sends Cathy Baker proposed range operation hours as requested.  (This transmittal completes the list of requests and questions from the DNR). Click on this link to view a copy of the email.

March 2007: County Park staff attend IAC presentation on shooting range funding under the FARR (Firearms and Archery Range Recreation) grant.  This grant would not work for the project at this time, because it would not fund planning and the property still had not been transferred to the County.  It is a biannual program and 2008 is the next funding cycle.

November 9, 2007: Meeting with DNR staff, Don Roberts, and Joel Winborn.  A Letter of Intent would need to be signed by County/DNR.  There was also confusion over who made the determination of meeting SCORP: DNR or IAC (now RCO).  Cathy Baker, Land Transaction Coordinator DNR, was assigned to this project.

January 29, 2008: Received draft of Letter of Intent which outlined responsibilities of County and DNR.

    • Applicant approval – signed resolution
    • Administrative costs – $5,000 
    • Parcel segregation – property line survey
    • Reservations – access  to property and timber in Susie Mix
    • Board of Natural Resources approval – presentation to Board in Olympia
    • Title – quit claim deed
    • Closing – to occur in Olympia
    • Timing – 9 to 12 months 

March 25, 2008: County signs Resolution and Letter of Intent. Click on this link to view resolution and letter.

April 28, 2008: Received email from DNR regarding survey.  Information forthcoming.

February 9, 2009: Meeting with DNR, following their quarterly meeting with BOCC.  John Viada, Region Manager; Al Vaughan, State Lands Assistant, and Cathy Baker, Land Transaction Coordinator representing the DNR. Discussed the agenda for the upcoming DNR public meeting on the reconveyance and two issues the DNR needed to review: SCORP and management of the 320 acre parcel.

March 17, 2009: Personal Services Agreement approved with Dr. Bradford Shea of Westech Company for a Preliminary Environmental Analysis and feasibility assessment of the Sadie Creek site.  This proposal was approved by the BOCC after revisions at the request of range opponents at a public Board Work Session.  

      Phase I Scope of Work to include:

      • Lead and other contaminant research and impacts on other ranges.
      • Endangered Species Compliance
      • Critical Areas Assessments
      • SEPA Compliance Review
      • Prepare written report and recommendations

May 12, 2009: Dr. Shea meets with staff and range opponents.

May 13, 2009: Dr. Shea meets with staff and range proponents.

July 2009: Environmental Analysis Report from Westech is completed. Click on this link to view the report.

September 1, 2009: Dr. Shea presented Preliminary Environmental Assessment to Parks Board.  Generally it stated: “As indicated in our conclusions, we have found that the site has some drawbacks, however, that it appears to be feasible if designed, constructed and managed in a well-controlled manner with respect to environmental contaminants and other environmental issues.”

November 3, 2009: After Dr. Shea’s presentation at the September Parks Board Meeting the Parks Board made no motion to revise their original recommendation to the BOCC regarding the reconveyance at Sadie Creek for a shooting range.  The Parks Board still felt this was the best site.

September 23, 2010: A public meeting was held at the Port Angeles Senior Center, hosted by the DNR and County Parks.  Approximately 100 people were in attendance. The DNR describes the reconveyance process. The County and DNR answered questions from the public. Click on this link to view the DNR PowerPoint presentation shown at the meeting.

April 2011: The County initiates a website providing information on the proposed shooting range for public access.

June 1, 2011: The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) sends a letter to the Parks Department outlining the DOE's opinion that Clallam County is the designated lead agency for the reconveyance project and recommends the County complete a SEPA before any additional agency action/decision on the reconveyance proposal. Click on this link to view the DOE letter.

February 18, 2012: Joel Winborn, Parks Department Director, presents a PowerPoint presentation to members of the PNSPA. The presentation was on the history of the efforts to create a shooting range in Clallam County. The presentation took place at Joshua's Restaurant in Port Angeles to approximately 20 members. Click on this link to view the PowerPoint presentation in PDF format.