Gun Range Protesters Speak Out at Rally

SANDWICH – Residents concerned with the proposed machine gun range at Camp Edwards on Joint Base Cape Cod voiced their opinions during a recent rally.

The “Cape in the Crosshairs” protest was held following the proposition of a new $11 million firing range.

Nearly 200 acres of forest would have to be cleared for the range, which would be placed over the Sagamore Lens, the largest in the Cape Cod aquifer and a major drinking water source for thousands of residents on the Upper and Mid Cape.

Chris Powicki with the Sierra Club’s Cape Cod group believes that more awareness has to be brought to light about the project.

“Further study would help in understanding the potential risks to our water, to our climate, and to the communities that surround the base,” Powicki said.

Officials from the Massachusetts National Guard have stated that the project will be safe and is needed for their operations.

Powicki believes that their recent presentation raised other questions, and that the public should have been given more opportunities to be heard beforehand.

“It’s not a great solution to ask for public input at the absolute tail end of a project,” Powicki continued, “instead of to secure that public input through outreach and public hearings early on in the process.”

Powicki said that many people did end up making their voices heard on the matter in recent weeks, in order to ensure that public safety and environmental concerns are properly addressed.

He said the new range could actually attract other units from across the nation to come to the Cape, thus leading to more environmental and communal impacts.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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