Falmouth Selectmen Thank Community For Machine Gun Range Response

FALMOUTH – The Falmouth Select Board recently praised the community for helping to get its voice heard about the proposed machine gun range for Camp Edwards at Joint Base Cape Cod.

The proposed site of the new $11 million range is in a training area that is within the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve, which is subject to state-established environmental performance standards.

It would also require clear cutting of around 170 acres of forest and be built over the Sagamore Lens, the largest in the Cape Cod aquifer and main source of drinking water for Bourne, Falmouth, Sandwich, Mashpee, Barnstable and Yarmouth.

Earlier this month, a meeting was hosted by members of the National Guard who explained the need for the machine gun range, such as improved efficiency and speed of training by having a local range to use.

Falmouth select board members said that they were pleased by the public’s participation in getting the town’s voice heard about the machine gun range, between those who gave comment during the official comment period and the response in the National Guard during public presentations.

Town Manager Julian Suso said that he anticipates more comments in the future.

“My understanding is that this remains a work in progress. Certainly, this board has expressed their concerns about the potential issues that are arising, environmental and otherwise. We got some good feedback at the public session, but we anticipate more dialogue will be coming in the public arena,” said Suso.

Selectmen previously requested that the National Guard expand the public comment period for the proposed project, though Chair of the Board Megan English Braga said that there had not been a response to that request.

However, she is pleased with the dialogue opened about the project so far.

“I think our concerns were heard loud and clear,” said English Braga.

English Braga said that town officials received a one-on-one presentation from the National Guard, and then a presentation for all town mangers, chairs and vice chairs followed.

“Our concerns that we’ve heard from citizens and that we expressed ourselves I think have been heard and helped to generate this latest component of outreach,” said English Braga.

English Braga said that the response document being planned by the National Guard will only factor in the comments received during the official comment period.

Suso said that a letter that he sent on behalf of the chair and vice chair that expressed concerns about environmental issues and resident comments is officially on record during that comment period.

“That expressed concerns about environmental and related issues and the volume of concerns that the residents had been raising. That’s an early comment that’s in there for the record, as well,” said Suso.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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