Author Topic: New Nanaimo MP taking petition to Ottawa calling for DND rifle range access  (Read 1986 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Here we go.... just because we're both 'Green' doesn't mean they love the military, either:

New Nanaimo MP taking petition to Ottawa calling for DND rifle range access

Incoming Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly plans to kick off his new job by tabling a petition in the House of Commons.

Manly will be sworn in on Monday, doubling the number of Green Party of Canada MPs in Ottawa. Party Leader Elizabeth May, the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, has been the lone Green MP.

Manly said he aims to introduce the petition “sometime [next] week.”

The petition, started by mountain biker Tyler Walker, calls for public access to 351 hectares designated as a Department of National
Defence rifle range west of Nanaimo’s downtown.

More than 4,000 names were on the petition by Friday evening.

CFB Esquimalt ordered the public to stay off the property, which it said is used for live fire training during the day, at night and throughout the weekends.

The military is giving access to people on certain days so they can remove structures such as bridges and ramps that were built without permission. It will then dismantle what is left.

The nearly century-old rifle range has been a popular recreational area for many years. Along with mountain bikers, families, hikers and dog-walkers frequent the rugged and scenic spot.

Manly acknowledged that the military needs a rifle range, but said the community has grown over the years. The range was set up close to 100 years ago.

“The city has changed since then. We’ve had a lot of urban development,” he said. “In the 1920s, that would have been way out in the boonies. But now, there’s development coming up all around the place.”

Manly has written to the defence minister suggesting it might be time to look for a different spot for a rifle range.
He is urging consultation with recreational users, the Regional District of Nanaimo, the City of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Private forest lands with a natural barrier such as steep mountain face, might be suitable, he said. “So there is no worry about people going back there.”

There is no Crown land available, he said.

Manly has used trails around the range and said lack of signage means it is difficult to know if one is in a park or on DND land.

“You could be coming down through the rifle range and not know it,” he said.

“People need to be safe and the military needs a safe area to be doing target practice.”

He’s also been hearing from area residents complaining about noise from machine guns firing. Manly, who lives about four to five kilometres from the range, hears it as well.

“It is quite pronounced.”


https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/new-nanaimo-mp-taking-petition-to-ottawa-calling-for-dnd-rifle-range-access-1.23833473
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Naniamo Rifle Range is one of only three remaining DND Rifle Ranges in allof BC (the others being Heals and Vernon. Volkes in Chilliwack was lost to a templating debacle).

There is literally tens of thousands of (if not hundreds of thousands) of hectares of available recreational land, open to the public. There is nowhere left to build ranges, unless we start cutting deals with forestry companies. Unlike the rest of Canada, there is not a great deal of Crown Land on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Quit trespassing on DND property. And don't buy a house near a range if you don't like the sound of gunfire.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Naniamo Rifle Range is one of only three remaining DND Rifle Ranges in allof BC (the others being Heals and Vernon. Volkes in Chilliwack was lost to a templating debacle).

There is literally tens of thousands of (if not hundreds of thousands) of hectares of available recreational land, open to the public. There is nowhere left to build ranges, unless we start cutting deals with forestry companies. Unlike the rest of Canada, there is not a great deal of Crown Land on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Quit trespassing on DND property. And don't buy a house near a range if you don't like the sound of gunfire.

You know what you can do with your sound logic and reasoning ;)
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Offline Target Up

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Like people who buy houses on approaches to airports and then whine about the noise, or buy in a floodplain and ***** about the water. This will all be fun and games till the first mountain biker doing "site improvement" sticks a shovel through a 36-M grenade and doesn't make it home that night.  They seem to think we keep them out to be mean, not to prevent injury or death. Eejits.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Offline dapaterson

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How was range control unaware that there were ramps and bridges being built?  Don't they survey the area from time to time?
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Offline Old Sweat

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Back circa 1972 I was Sec DGMPO in NDHQ. At that time there was an active movement by locals with a fair amount of political support to have Meaford returned to the. They had plans to develop it as residential property making a pretty penny in the process. The locals were aware it had been used as a range, and were quite vocal that we would have to decontaminate it first.The DND/CAF position was that the only way it could be guaranteed to be safely decontaminated was to remove all the soil and vegetation down to bedrock. As the locals felt so strongly that it should be returned to them, we would decontaminate it, and then turn the moonscape over to them. That was pretty well the last we heard of that.

I wonder if something like that might work?

Offline Target Up

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I keep going back to Blair Range job, but it parallels this situation very closely. We went in there and surveyed the walking/biking trails that had sprung up over the years. We were there for risk reduction, not a full clearance, so we tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. We then got interrogated as to why we were blocking "their trails". When we explained what we were doing there, they then complained we weren't doing enough. When told that to do a full clearance would involve clear cutting the mountain and two years minimum of the area being shut down completely, they became a bit more contrite. Never mind the half dozen 3" mortars and a 5 gal bucket full of frag and grenade parts we found on our risk reduction op.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Now! Now! Here! The gentleman has a point.

The military should know when it's beaten by evolving circumstances. Nanaimo has expanded greatly in recent times (especially as it has started to take over from Victoria as Canada's retiree destination community :) ).

So we need to find a new place, where there is land available, a much lower population density and is fairly central to all B.C. militia units. As it happens, there is such a place, and it's also held by the Green party, so they should be happy to work together to help the military acquire the necessary rights and easily expropriate any bits of land required.

I give you the Salt Spring Island rifle range!

And, in order for the militia units to bring their necessary equipment - especially the Armour units' TAPVs - we also have to expropriate one of the two reasonable "landing" beaches on the Island and acquire a couple of LCU's - to be operated respectively by HMCS MALAHAT, for Vancouver Island units, and HMCS DISCOVERY for mainland units. Good training for the Naval reserve, so its a bonus.

Someone has to present that plan to the gentlemen immediately so he may get on with implementation right away!




Do I really need to put in the "sarcasm" emoji?

Offline SeaKingTacco

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How was range control unaware that there were ramps and bridges being built?  Don't they survey the area from time to time?

Range Control is in Esquimalt, so I don't know how frequently they get up to Naniamo. I also do not know how good the fencing is in the back part of the range- I suspect "not awesome".

That said, mountain bikers and hikers are tenacious trespassers. It has been a multi-decade, multi-million dollar effort to get the trespassing situation on Heals Range, somewhat under control. I suspect CFB Esquimalt will be shortly spending a bag load of money on kms of 8 foot chain link and a bunch more on repairing the inevitable vandal damage to that fencing.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Now! Now! Here! The gentleman has a point.

The military should know when it's beaten by evolving circumstances. Nanaimo has expanded greatly in recent times (especially as it has started to take over from Victoria as Canada's retiree destination community :) ).

So we need to find a new place, where there is land available, a much lower population density and is fairly central to all B.C. militia units. As it happens, there is such a place, and it's also held by the Green party, so they should be happy to work together to help the military acquire the necessary rights and easily expropriate any bits of land required.

I give you the Salt Spring Island rifle range!

And, in order for the militia units to bring their necessary equipment - especially the Armour units' TAPVs - we also have to expropriate one of the two reasonable "landing" beaches on the Island and acquire a couple of LCU's - to be operated respectively by HMCS MALAHAT, for Vancouver Island units, and HMCS DISCOVERY for mainland units. Good training for the Naval reserve, so its a bonus.

Someone has to present that plan to the gentlemen immediately so he may get on with implementation right away!




Do I really need to put in the "sarcasm" emoji?

The British ran out of available space decades ago, yet still run substantial ranges very close to heavily populated civilian centres. Like Bisley for example, which is a huge gallery range complex I used frequently with various units.

We need to take a page out of their books and learn how to engage the civilian populace more effectively to make them 'their ranges' too. For example, I recall at at one point the MoD were thinking of divesting themselves of a range area but had to back track because a local wildlife association, who were involved stakeholders in the management of the range, said that if they did, hundreds of species of animals - which couldn't live anywhere else especially in urban areas - were protected (ironically) by living in the range restricted areas.



"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Colin P

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Offline MilEME09

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Perhaps we need to look at a public-private partnership for some ranges? I was at Bisley in the UK last fall and toured their facilities, while their 15 degree offset of firelines scares me cause it was a new concept, a range that has duel use would also help generate revanue and help fund range maintance
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Perhaps we need to look at a public-private partnership for some ranges? I was at Bisley in the UK last fall and toured their facilities, while their 15 degree offset of firelines scares me cause it was a new concept, a range that has duel use would also help generate revanue and help fund range maintance

While dueling is still an exercise I can get behind, I don't think it's legal anymore. It'd be a great replacement for milpoints though. 8)
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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The issue here is not funding, it is a shortage of suitable land on Vancouver Island and lower Mainland of BC.

If DND gets pushed out of its few remaining training areas there, there is is literally no place left to go. Which, amongst a certain vocal political class in BC, is precisely the goal.

Offline Brad Sallows

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BC is large.  Merely the southern portion is large.  It's ridiculous that the grown-ups can't quickly set aside and develop small arms / grenade / demolition range complexes near the users, along with at least one major training area suitable for recce and artillery not more than 3-4 hours travel time from the lower mainland.  Yet the province is happy to demand assistance when needed.  Privileges come with obligations.
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Very odd, when I go Imapbc, there appears to be no lease, reserve or parcel for Volkes available. It shows that it lies partly in Sec 33, TP, Rge 28, the rest appears to be Crown land.