Citizens to Save Pilchuck Creek (CSPC)

Dennis Katte has written a comprehensive Chronological History and Timeline of CSPC

Update, March 2013

Frailey Mountain Shooting Range Update

By Dennis Katte, CSPC

Not much has happened to range development since the state re-conveyed 400 acres to Skagit County in September 2005.  The recession and subsequent revenue shortfalls have taken their toll on this and other county developments originally planned. The county has, though, retained small amounts of money in Parks’ budget allotted to the range as a “placeholder” over the years.  It should be noted that the site is no longer classified by Parks as the Frailey Mountain Shooting Range, but simply as a “nature park”. It is not accessible since there are no roads or bridges to the site and it remains totally undeveloped; the multi-million dollar costs associated with site access via bridge construction from Lake Cavanaugh Road or updating the DNR roadway access from off Grandstrom road stalled any development.

In 2009 a private indoor shooting range was proposed by Brent Straight, owner of Skagit Shooting Sports, for construction in Burlington at 590 Fisher Lane to include 16 firing ranges, two classrooms and a gun shop. The Burlington Planning Commission approved a conditional-use permit in June of 2012. According to a December 2012 Skagit Valley Herald article, lack of funding held up development but an arrangement was subsequently made between Straight and Jim Potter of Skagit Crossings LLC for construction to be on Potter’s property at 1340 Bouslog Road in Burlington, just South and West of the intersection of I-5 and Highway 20. Straight had hoped to break ground this February.

It is unknown what Parks and Recreation will do with the 400 acres they currently hold if and when the indoor range is built. We have not verified if ground has actually been broken or seen issued building permits. It is our opinion that Parks will let the proposed FMSR project simply fade from memory and may use the “placeholder” funds to re-convey the land back to the state for timber harvest. CSPC will continue to monitor the progress and keep you informed.

It’s hard to believe the original shooting range project started back in 1996! There’s no range yet—no gunshot noise and no traffic increases–we’ve been successful in stopping this project so far. For those “newcomers” to the lake, CSPC was organized in 1998 to oppose development of the shooting range South and West of the Pilchuck Creek bridge and adjacent to Don and Terri Saben’s property. Your contributions funded our legal challenges which ultimately reached the Snohomish County Superior Court. The court ruled the range permits Skagit County had issued to itself void and remanded the project back to the county for re-hearing, which has never happened. A separate legal victory awarded the Saben’s damages and reissuance of their building permit which had been rescinded during the range hearings (CSPC was not directly involved in this case). Read the complete chronological history of the range on the LCIA website for all the details.

CSPC members are Jack Cross, Ron Carlson, Chris Kane, Bill Pugh, Loren West, Becky Brown and Dennis Katte.

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