SETF has been working with other organizations and groups in opposing the proposed CPD outdoor firing range for more than a year. The Range, which is to be located at 134th and Jeffery Avenue, will be adjacent to two wetland ponds that are critical for migrating waterfowl and a Blue Heron rookery. A firing range with 40 marksmen shooting at any given time would disturb and threaten these birds as well as the other wildlife currently in residence on the property. Though a noise study affirmed that residential areas would not hear the noise, the shooting would however be heard by visitors to Hegewisch Marsh – one of our Park District Parks and future home to the Calumet Ford Environmental Center.
As part of the Calumet Open Space Reserve, the property had been identified for open space reclamation along with the adjacent landfill. The potential for the property to offer public passive recreation was a vision of the Task Force. But a narrow vote by the MWRD Commissioners to approve the 39 year lease to the Police Department for the property left us discouraged.
Enter a pair of nesting Bald Eagles amid the Blue Heron Rookery. The Bald Eagle, while no longer an endangered species, is still protected by certain restrictions and the City will have to seek a permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife before the project can move forward.
We think the Mayor should reconsider the location of the gun range as placing a outdoor firing range in an urban area is at the very least controversial, and at the proposed site it is unacceptable.
|Bald Eagle sitting on electric pole near location. (photo courtesy of WBEZ)
Eagle’s nest easily distinguished by size. (photo courtesy of WBEZ)