Range shooting at Wildlife League can continue

Agreement is being worked out that will give league a time line

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Trap shooting will continue to be allowed at the Camas-Washougal Wildlife League — at least for the time being.

The Camas City Council gave the go-ahead last night for the longtime local club located at 811 S.E. Leadbetter Road to continue its regular operations as members work with the surrounding property owner CJ Dens Land Co., and the city to produce an agreement that will layout a firm time line as to when shooting will cease for good.

The legality of having a shooting range at the 10.5 acre Leadbetter Road site recently came into question after the C-W Wildlife League land and several large chunks of property on the north side of Lacamas Lake were annexed into Camas city limits. Currently, city code restricts the discharge of firearms.

Although the city and CJ Dens Land Co. have entered into a development agreement, so far development has not occurred on any of the newly annexed property. Eventually, however, it will.

On Monday night public testimony was heard by council during a hearing. A handful of members of the C-W Wildlife League, and those who belong to other gun clubs in the area spoke in support of letting the local operation continue, up until the time that it would be unsafe to continue.

“It is possible to co-exist with residents and buildings,” said Doug Dinsmore, president of the Vancouver Trap and Gun Club, located at 11100 N.E. 76th St. “You can be in an area where people live and enjoy other activities and not worry about having an accident involving a shotgun.”

The C-W Wildlife League was first organized in 1923. The organization disbanded during World War II, then re-organized again in 1948.

Today only shotguns can be fired at the range, which is open to the public twice a month on the second and fourth Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shotguns are the only weapons allowed.

Rosalee MacRae said her son developed an interest in sport shooting after visiting the range in Camas many years ago, and discovered he had a talent for it.

“It fills a need for some people,” she said. “It’s another kind of sport. It’s been there a long time, and I hope it can be there for a long time yet.”

The public hearing on the issue has been continued to the Monday, Oct. 18 council meeting. At that time council is expected to take action on the issue of whether to allow the Wildlife League to continue to operate for a period of time at the site as a non-conforming use.