Environmental investigation reaching its final stages

Ashland, Ore. — A 10-year project on some Ashland land is reaching its final stages.

In 2008, the city wanted to investigate the potential environmental impacts of gun operations on the Lithia Springs Property.

The parcel of land off Emigrant Creek Road is currently leased by the Ashland Gun Club and has been operated as a shooting range since 1968.

Ashland Public Works began a series of studies in 2008 to look into whether the range was posing any threats to the environment.

“Soil, ground water, surface water… all sorts of environmental variables were explored in the context of how they could be affected by a gun range,” Ashland Public Works Manager, Kaylea Kathol, said.

The studies produced no evidence of groundwater or waterway pollution that violated state water standards, but Public Works created an Environmental Stewardship Plan to prevent any possibility for the accumulation of lead in wetlands.

That project has taken 10 years so far, and now the department is taking its final step which is hiring a contractor to restore wetlands that were lost decades ago.

Kathol says she’d like to thank the Gun Club for its cooperation throughout the process.

She says it’ll be a big accomplishment when everything is completed.

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