Waterford F&G Press
see source: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/06/gov-lepage-signs-shooting-range-protection-bill-into-law/
Supporters said the law was needed to preserve more than 100 outdoor sport shooting ranges and a hunting heritage that are threatened by increasing rural development in Maine.
Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill into law Tuesday that aims to protect outdoor sport shooting ranges that are being affected by increased rural development across Maine.
The law prohibits local ordinances or lawsuits that would limit the operation of existing ranges or force them to close based on noise complaints or longstanding shooting activities. The House and Senate approved the bill last week.
The law allows municipalities to regulate substantial changes in the use of ranges, but it makes clear that gun clubs can maintain, repair and improve ranges, especially to increase safety and handicapped accessibility.
Supporters of the bill said more than 100 sport shooting ranges across the state are threatened by increasing rural development, challenging their futures and Maine’s hunting heritage. They include the Spurwink Rod & Gun Club in Cape Elizabeth, a 60-year-old organization that in recent years has been the target of noise and safety complaints from new residential neighbors.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Tammy Walter, Spurwink’s president, said Wednesday. “This was (about a) principle, not a vendetta.”
The law doesn’t insulate ranges from lawsuits based on negligence or recklessness in the operation or use of the range. It stipulates that ranges must conform “to generally accepted gun safety and shooting range operation practices” and be “constructed in a manner not reasonably expected to allow a projectile to cross the boundary of the range.”
Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:
Norway-Paris F&G: http://npfg.org/
Western Maine F&G: http://www.westernmainefishandgame.com
Letter to the editor:
SOUND REDUCTION AT THE WATERFORD F&G CLUB
To the editor:
The Waterford Fish and Game Club was founded in the mid-1940s by four men. Maureen M. Heath, a reporter for the Advertiser Democrat in Norway, wrote an excellent article on the beginnings of the Waterford Fish and Game Club, several years ago.
The club has been in existence for over 70 years with a clean accident record and no problems with the neighbors. In 2008, a couple that lives in Waterford made it their goal to shut down the Waterford Fish and Game Club. The couple in question came to the club uninvited and started yelling and hurling epithets at members. They insisted that “Your shooting is ruining our ‘expletive’ life!”
In Sept. of 2009, I was at a Selectman’s meeting at the town office and learned that this couple was gathering signatures to try to force the Selectman to close the club. It was at this meeting that I discovered there were a few problems with the club that the membership were not aware of. I learned that the owner of the Waterford Inn was having trouble booking wedding receptions at the Inn. Potential clients were concerned that the shooting at the club, during an outdoor wedding reception, would be a problem. I met with the owner, and told her if she could give me a two week notice, the club would be willing to close down the ranges for the time she needed to host an event.
At that same Selectman’s meeting I spoke with a woman who lives on Chadbourne Road. She said that she was awakened at 7:30 am, on a Sunday morning, by gunfire at the club. When this issue was addressed at the next monthly club meeting, a motion was made and passed to restrict Sunday shooting hours. The hours on Sunday are now from 9am until ½ hour after sunset. Weekday shooting is from 8am until ½ hour after sunset. In addition, the club does not allow Police Departments to qualify on weekends anymore. Departments are now required to qualify their officers during the week. This has greatly reduced the sound level on weekends when most people are home. The club also installed a fence with locked gates at a substantial cost. Only club members are allowed to use the facilities. Additionally, shooting of full automatic firearms on Sundays is prohibited, unless a suppressor is used. A suppressor will reduce the sound level by 30 decibels (about a factor of 5). As always, the club does not allow any shooting while there is a funeral in progress at the Pulpit Rock Cemetery.
In April 2010, a lawsuit was brought against the Waterford Fish and Game Club by the same couple that was trying to get the club shut down. After a year and half of giving their lawyer a detailed listing of construction costs for the past six years, the club membership list, and a multitude of other paperwork, they dropped the lawsuit. But it didn’t stop there. Mr. “Lawsuit” would drive by the shooting range while members were shooting and sound his car horn and give anyone there his middle finger. Only after he was brought to court for harassment by a club member did he stop.
In September 2012, the Club hired a contractor from Waterford, James Long (including his sons Eric and Darin), to construct a sound absorbing eyebrow on our rifle range. A club member designed the structure of the eyebrow and James Long and his sons did the research on the sound absorbing material that was used.
Sound measurements were taken by Waterford Selectman Randy Lessard before and after the construction of the eyebrow. Readings were taken at the cemetery, the ball field and McIntire Road. Sound reduction of a 12 gauge shotgun at the cemetery 80 yards away was 12.3 decibels. Sound reduction of a .45 caliber pistol was 15.7 decibels and was 14.2 decibels for a 30-06 rifle. Readings at McIntire road, 1.3 miles from the Club, dropped 7.5 decibels for a 12 gauge shotgun and 8.2 decibels for the 30-06 rifle. Mr. Lessard could not get any readings from the 45 caliber pistol because of background noise. Background noise was 36 decibels at the time of the testing. The readings at the Marston house on McIntire road averaged 38.4 decibels with the 12 gauge shotgun and 38.5 decibels with the 30-06 rifle. Normal conversation is between 60 and 65 decibels. A drop by 5 decibels is clearly noticeable, a drop by 10 decibels is half as loud and a drop by 20 decibels is a quarter as loud.
In the future the club intends to install the same eyebrow construction on our pistol ranges. James Long and his sons have done additional research and have an idea to possibly reduce the sound level on the shotgun skeet range as well.
This is what the Waterford Fish and Game Club has been doing to reduce the sound level at the club for all our neighbors.
The same couple that withdrew their lawsuit against us is now threatening to sue the Town of Waterford.
This was written and approved by the Officers and Board of Directors of the Waterford Fish and Game Club.
Following is a story taken from the
Advertiser Democrat and is a great history ABOUT US.
By Maureen M. Heath
Waterford ----- Recently I received some correspondence and a history written by Rodney “Digger” Cummings. Many of you know him as he was born and reared in North Waterford and lived here until 1963. He currently lives in Arizona.
The story he sent is the “History of the Waterford Fish and Game,” which he thought may be of interest to many of you, especially with hunting season coming right up. Here is the story as written by Rodney “Digger” Cummings.
“In the mid-1940s, me and three friends decided that because we did a lot of hunting and fishing, that we would like to start an official Hunting and Fishing Club to service the areas in which we lived. John Pike lived in East Waterford and owned and operated the Blue Clothing Store on Main Street in Norway. Alton White lived in Stoneham and later owned and operated White’s Marina, located on Norway Lake. Harold Springer owned a larger farm in East Waterford for years. I, Rodney Cummings, later owned and operated the Crooked River Dowel Company, located in North Waterford.
“The four of us came up with the idea of putting on a night of boxing matches, with young men from around the local townships to raise money to purchase some land and create a building in which to hold meetings to other sporting advocates, once or twice each month.
“We distributed posters at the towns of Bethel, Lovell, Norway, Paris and all of the Waterford’s. We were trying to recruit young men between the ages of 10 and 20 years, who would like to participate in boxing matches for a trophy. Soon we had about 50 young men who were interested in participating in this event. After logging their ages, weights, and other pertinent information, we decided to get permission from the Odd Fellow organization’s hall in North Waterford to be the location of this fund raising event.
“Doc Hubbard agreed to act as the ringside physician as most of these young men were brought into this world by him!
“I already owned two pairs of eight-ounce boxing gloves and two pairs of 12-ounce boxing gloves. We were able to purchase boxing trophies at a wholesale cost. We then erected a 16-foot boxing ring in the Odd Fellow Hall, and we were ready to put on our event.
“The night of the big event had arrived and there was a huge crowd of spectators, standing room only. The event held about 20 matches, each lasting 2 to 3 minutes each round. The result was that no one got seriously injured with the exception of their pride and a few black eyes. Even Doc Hubbard said that it was the best fun he had had in a long time.
The night resulted in enough money to purchase a few acres of land on the road from North Waterford to Norway, to level the land to build a clubhouse, design a running deer target and a skeet range. There was also enough money left over to put in the treasury.
“After the club was operational it drew good crowds each weekend for both target ranges. I’ve never forgotten the first shoot we had; most of the people knew me from my guiding days in hunting and fishing. When I went up to the shoot, someone hollered, ‘Let’s see you knock this one down Rod.” The very first shot I made cut the telephone wire that ran behind the back area on the deer target, and down it went. This brought quite a roar from the crowd.”
Hopefully, you found this story written by Digger Cummings an interesting one, or a good memory if you were a part of the original beginning. The Waterford Fish and Game remains active today in the same location, on the Norway road here in Waterford.
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