, Derry, New Hampshire

November 14, 2013

Club hopes to add more shooting ranges

Planning Board gives conditional approval to outdoor shooting plan

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — Fish and Game Club supporters want to add more outdoor shooting ranges.

Proponents of a club plan to add additional ranges came before the Planning Board at a meeting Nov. 5. Members gave the proposal conditional approval.

The proposed plan would be to add a 200-yard and 400-yard outdoor range area at the 80-acre property with access off Lund Street in Litchfield.

Club president Rich Olson said the new ranges would still keep within the club’s mission to provide safe shooting while promoting safety and education to its members.

If the new ranges are built, they would be within a safe distance from any nearby homes that abut the Fish and Game Club property, he said.

No new members would be added to the Fish and Game Club roster because of additional range areas, Olson said.

The new ranges would give members more opportunities to learn to shoot safely.

“The club wants to have a family facility that services its membership,” Olson said.

He said the public should not worry about any additional noise coming from the area.

“And there will also be no increase in traffic,” he said.

Shooting at the club’s range and the nearby Londonderry police shooting range has generated some complaints over the years, particularly from Londonderry Country Club owner Tom Kimball.

The country club at 56 Kimball Road abuts the Fish and Game Club in the Musquash Conservation Area, as well as the police target shooting range.

Kimball has made his argument many times over the past 20-plus years, but the town has taken no action.

The police firing range was approved by the Town Council in 2008. The Fish and Game Club has been there since 1972.

In August, the Planning Board approved declaring the shooting range plan as having regional impact, meeting the guidelines set by the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission.

That means towns abutting the Fish and Game Club property — Londonderry and Litchfield — would be given the right to offer input on the proposed plan.

Certain criteria need to be met to be deemed a regional impact, including any noise concerns that may come up that could affect abutting properties and residents during the range planning work ahead.

Town planner Cynthia May said the Fish and Game Club followed the rules when it came to keeping plans within the town’s allowed regulations.

Olson said when concerns come up, he tries to be proactive when talking to neighbors near the range.

“We don’t just blow them off,” he said. “We try to address it.”