Odd News on Blue Trail Range

We’ve followed the saga of the Blue Trail Shooting Range up in Connecticut for a while now.  It seems there’s a new twist in this sorry story that’s very strange.  It would seem our villain this story, Pat DiNatale, who argued that the reservoir adjacent to the Blue Trail range was contaminated with lead, is taking about $450,000 of said “contaminated” soil from a dredging project on the reservoir to use as topsoil for a grazing field for his cows.  See stories here and here.  I guess if he’s willing to use it for grazing purposes, he can’t think it’s very contaminated then can he?  The soil apparently tests out fine.

There’s always been something very shady with this whole thing.

Blue Trail Range in Trouble Again

This time DiNatale, the developer who has been trying to gt Blue Trail shut down for a while now, is using the lead issue to try to get his way:

Tests commissioned by a Durham man who is suing the Blue Trail firing range in Wallingford show high concentrations of lead from bullets on land near the Ulbrich Reservoir opposite the range, and elevated levels in the sediment at the water’s edge.

Blue Trail and the town will be allowed to do their own tests.  Generally speaking, elemental lead is fairly imobile in soil, and not all that hazardous.  But it some soils, the lead can become more mobile.  This is going to continue to be an issue for commercial ranges, clubs, and public ranges as time wears on.

Blue Trail Range Update

Blue Trail Range has been out of the news lately, but it looks like it’s still operating with its safety improvements.  We’ve blogged about their trials and tribulations often here.  Reader TacDriver ran some ballistic calculations on the range, based on topographical data.  As results indicated, the house that complained about being hit is in the ballistic shadow of the mountain.


This is good work, I think, and I’m glad TacDriver took the time to do it, and share it with us.

Yet Another Blue Trail Range Safety Study

I think by the time Blue Trail Shooting Range puts this nightmare behind them, it might well be one of the most studied range in the country.  The town of Durham is now harassing them funding a new safety study of the range.

Blue Trail is the only public outdoor shooting range left in all of New England.  It would be a shame for it to close.

Blue Trail Range In the New York Times

This article is fairly balanced for the Times reporting on a firearms issue, but I notice they fail to mention that DiNatale is a developer looking to develop property around the range.  My own ballistic analysis of Blue Trail a while ago revaled that DiNatale’s property was in the ballistic shadow of the mountain.  The only way bullets are hitting his house from that range is by rounds firing up into the air at a steep angle, which I find unlikely.

Blue Trail Under Fire

The Courant is demanding BlueTrail be closed:

Mr. Lyman’s negligence should no longer be permitted to jeopardize the safety of families in Durham and hikers who use a popular trail just beyond the range. That state and local officials have tacitly allowed Mr. Lyman to mismanage Blue Trail for so long is an inexcusable dereliction of duty.

They are asking for Letters to the Editor.  If you live in the area, or shoot at Blue Trail, I’d come up with something, 200 words or less, to at least let them know this is not a one-sided debate.  One thing I’d point out is that no houses have been hit since Blue Trail finished their range improvements.

Blue Trail Back in the News

Looks like a state police investigation has determined the bullets that were hitting houses had to have come from Blue Trail:

“It’s the same report every single time,” Pasquale “Pat” DiNatale, a Durham homeowner whose property has been struck by bullets over the years, said Friday. “It’s always the same conclusion, but no one ever does anything. When does it stop? When do they do something?”

Ah yes, the same developer we’ve been dealing with before.  Who’s home, I might add, is in the ballistic shadow of the mountain ridge.  Trimountain road is also largely in the ballistic shadow of the mountain ridge.  It’s certainly possible that rounds fired from Blue Trail Range are hitting these homes, but it’s unlikely.

Blue Trail Range Fundraiser

The Blue Trail range fundraiser, to help raise money for their mounting legal bills, was a great success.  One of the gun bloggers managed to attend:

One thing of note that concerned me. (And I apologize if this offends anyone.)  But I was rather distraught by the general age of the attendees. Many being what I’d label as either elderly or Vietnam vet age. I do not say this as insult, I greatly respect both groups.  But the twenty and thirty year olds were in very low quantity in comparison.  This put a chill down my spine…

I’ve seen many churches with similar demographics, and many churches that are now condominiums because once those demographic groups pass; the church no longer has enough members to sustain it.

There are plenty of young shooters out there.  Go to any gun show, you’ll see a mix of the young and the old.  Go to any club or community event, and you’ll see only old people.  Young people are not involved in the issue politically.  There are a few reasons for this:

  • Young people are eschewing civic organizations as a whole.
  • Young people have less time to devote to civic engagement.
  • Young people seem to be less interested in competitive shooting.
  • A lot of these guys don’t know defeat.  I was nineteen when the Brady Act passed.  I was twenty when the assault weapons ban passed.  A lot of these guys in their twenties don’t realize that gun control will come for them.  I see the guns these guys check out at the shows.  They really don’t know they are a target and can lose their rights.

He’s observed something here that I do think is a real problem.  If we don’t create a new generation of gun leaders, when the existing generation gets too old or dies off, were screwed.  People have to get involved if we want to keep this right.  There really is no other alternative.

Blue Trail Opens Today

Blue Trail Range is opening the 100 yard firing line today, with approval from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

“We reached this conclusion as a result of our careful assessment of the many physical improvements that have been made to the 100-yard shooting area at Blue Trail and improvements in operating procedures that the management has committed to implement,” McCarthy said in a written statement issued late Wednesday.

“We were able to make this assessment with the assistance of our Environmental Conservation Police unit, which had several senior officers inspect the range and which has special law enforcement and military expertise in firearms and range safety,” she said.

This is good news.  It would be a pity to lose this range because of one sleazy developer with a slick media game.

More Trouble for Blue Trail

Blue Trail is the last public outdoor range in Connecticuit.  It would be a horrible loss to the shooting community to lose it.  After bringing in experts to verify that the houses that claimed to be hit could not have been, it would seem that developer Pat DiNatale is taking up a new approach: lead.

What’s most curious to me is that the picture presented here looks nothing at all like lead corrosion.  In fact, elemental lead is highly corrosion resistant.  Even strong acids don’t have a large effect on lead.  In addition, oxides of lead are usually white, bright yellow or bright red/orange.  The picture above looks more like corrosion of iron or steel than lead.  Lead is not very soluble in water.  Most of the environmental concerns for lead contamination revolve around the use of lead oxides in things like paints, and lead salts.  Elemental lead is not really very hazardous, and lead contamination from shooting ranges has never been shown to pose a serious hazard.

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