Speak Out Against Proposed Machine Gun Range on the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve

Update as of 6-17-2021

The meetings of the Community Advisory Council (CAC) and the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) on the proposed multi-purpose machine gun range have been postponed. No new dates and times have been announced.

UPDATE 6-7-2021

It has been apparent to APCC that the Massachusetts National Guard has viewed the public process associated with the proposed Multi-Purpose Machine Gun Range as something to endure and not as an opportunity to assess and address public comments and concerns. That view was validated last week based upon a communication from the commanding general of Joint Base Cape Cod to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce where he derided the almost 400 people who formally commented on the project as “naysayers, activists and anti-military groups.” The Guard has, in its own words, provided evidence that it lacks respect for public comments not fully supportive of the project (of which, as stated by the Guard, there were almost none). The statement provides the proof that invalidates the public review process that led to their own declaration that the project would have No Significant Impact on the environment.

APCC has written to Governor Baker, to call on him to restore the public trust that has been violated by the Guard’s own actions and words by rejecting the range project. APCC believes that decisions about the use of public resources must be reliant on full and impartial consideration of the public interest and that it is now unmistakable that the consideration of the machine gun range has been tainted by the expressed bias of the Guard. Without a valid review, there is no legal basis upon which the project can be approved.

The next step in the process is the meeting of the Community Advisory Council on Thursday, June 17th. (The details of the meeting are not yet available.) APCC urges the public to participate in this meeting and convey concerns directly to the CAC as it considers its recommendation to the full Environmental Management Commission, which will meet on July 12 to determine the fate of the project.

Not only is the protection of the public resource that is the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve at issue here, but so is the right of the public to a full and fair hearing under the law. If this project, and the flawed and biased process used to promote it, are deemed acceptable, the public will have lost more than its drinking water and wildlife habitat.

APCC sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Advisor you can read here.

  For the several hundred of you who emailed Senators Warren, Markey and Congressman Keating with your opposition to the proposed machine gun range, thank you. Here was the immediate result: your elected officials sent a letter to the National Guard and you can read it here.

The Massachusetts Army National Guard has proposed to locate and construct a machine gun range within the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve on the northern 15,000 acres of Joint Base Cape Cod. The reserve was established in 2002 to protect drinking water and wildlife habitat, and to allow military training that is compatible with those uses.

The machine gun range project would require 199 acres of land disturbance, including 170.5 acres of forest area to be clear cut to accommodate the range footprint, operations and control area facilities, roads, firebreaks and other aspects of the project, according to the Guard’s Environmental Assessment. The project plan also includes the creation of a Surface Danger Zone area on approximately 5,197 acres, or over one-third of the 15,000-acre Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve, where projectiles fired on the range would land.

APCC obtained, through a public records request, copies of all public comments submitted to the Guard on the machine gun range. APCC provides these comments on this website for the purpose of ensuring a full disclosure of the general public’s response to the project.

Map of Proposed Machine Gun Range on Cape Cod
+ Click on image above to enlarge
Of the 367 public comments received by the Guard, 330 opposed the project. Nine comments were in support of the project. An additional 28 took a neutral position, most of those seeking information or requesting an extended comment period.

Making these public comments available is part of APCC’s continuing effort to make certain that the environmental issues associated with the project are understood, fully examined and appropriately addressed.

APCC has undertaken a detailed assessment of the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and finds it severely lacking and deficient. The full text of APCC’s comments can be found HERE.

Click here to access the draft EA

Cape Cod Pine Tree