Study: Shooting park no nuisance

When Carmel Canyon homeowners launched their first volley of shots against the Clark County Shooting Park early last year, one of their biggest complaints was about the noise they expected to be associated with the park.

At a raucous meeting of the homeowners association, park manager Don Turner attempted to explain that noise levels associated with the discharge of firearms would remain below the 56-decibel (dBA) noise standard established by Clark County code. But the homeowners wouldn’t hear any of it.

They didn’t want to learn about dirt berms, recessed ranges or any other steps shooting ranges the world over use to minimize the impacts of shooting noise. And never mind that shooting lines at the park are at a much higher elevation than residences down the hill and a mile away.

In fact, when a group of homeowners filed a lawsuit seeking to halt park construction, their concern about the level of anticipated noise was listed as a reason for the request. However, according to an independent sound study conducted by the Parsons Corp. of Pasadena, Calif., Turner was correct.

“The predicted noise levels for individual shots for all anticipated firearms modeled as well as the various scenarios of simultaneous shootings at the three shooting ranges indicate that the Clark County noise limit of 56 dBA for impulse noise will not be exceeded. Consequently, no noise impact on the community is expected,” the report stated.

The report also said that ambient sound levels at the property lines nearest to the shooting lines already is between 44 and 50 decibels. Based on that measurement “and the projected noise levels associated with individual firings of various firearms, it can be reasonably concluded that most individual discharges would be much below ambient noise levels and probably would not be discernible. In any case, all firearms would be much below Clark County’s 56 dBA noise limit.”

In 1997, forward-thinking Lee Avant of Las Vegas looked at the growth and subsequent changes coming to Southern Nevada and sought legislation that would protect shooting ranges from those who don’t necessarily appreciate their role in public safety and outdoor recreation. Thanks to his efforts, Nevada law (NRS 40.140) says, “A shooting range does not constitute a nuisance with respect to any noise attributable to the shooting range if the shooting range is in compliance with the provisions of all applicable statutes, ordinances and regulations concerning noise.”

As filed, the homeowners’ lawsuit claims the Clark County Shooting Park to be a nuisance because it will be in violation of the county’s noise ordinance when it begins operation and therefore in violation of NRS 40.140. However, based on results of the Parson study, it appears the park will be within the parameters established by that statute and therefore cannot be considered a nuisance.

Guess we’ll see what the judge has to say.

SWIMBAIT SUCCESS — While everyone else headed for the marina, one determined angler opted to endure the wind and pounding waves brought on by the most recent passing cold front. He fought to keep his boat running parallel to the shoreline at Lake Mead and was rewarded with a huge hit on the swimbait trout imitation he was trolling behind the boat.

When the angler, who prefers to remain anonymous, brought the fish on board, it weighed in at more than 29 pounds and looked well-fed.

Meanwhile, anglers still are catching fat striped bass near Aztec Wash and Placer Cove on Lake Mohave. A friend caught two plump stripers on a Spro trout imitation.

TURKEY BANQUET — The Las Vegas Strutters, the National Wild Turkey Federation’s local chapter, is hosting its annual fundraising banquet and auction on March 6 at Fiesta Henderson.

For tickets and information, call Greg Clark at 769-1613.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column, published Thursday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. He can be reached at doug@takinitoutside.com.

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