Stop the range rally calls for opposition to JBCC machine gun range
Fernandes: “We need to rethink our relationship to our natural world, and now is the time.
SANDWICH – A coalition of some 200 members of environmental, religious, youth and social justice groups rallied against a proposed 8-lane machine gun range at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) that would raze 1% of the large state military base.
“Respect us! Respect our water! Stop the range!” Rosemary Carey of Cape Cod 350 said through a megaphone and in distributed blue leaflets. “Our water is at risk. Cape Town’s habitats are too fragile. Our economy is at risk. It’s a climate emergency.”
Dressed in blue to signify protection of water and the fragile blue planet, peaceful protesters gathered at Forestdale Elementary School. Organizations included 350 Cape Cod, Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, Faith Communities Environmental Network, Coalition for Social Justice, Sierra Club of Cape Cod, Youth Climate Action Network, Sustainable Practices, Lower Cape indivisible, Cape Cod Women 4 Change, the democratic city of Sandwich Committee, Falmouth Climate Action Network (FalCAN), League of Women Voters Cape Cod Area and Association to Preserve Cape Cod.
Speakers urged attendees to email their comments to EMC, the state agency with final decision-making authority, at: [email protected]
State Representative Dylan Fernandes D-Barnstable Dukes Nantucket) joined Barnstable City Councilor Gordon Starr in pledging to fight the plan.
“They say it has no impact on the environment,” Fernandes said. “This Is have an impact ”- on Cape Cod waters, noise levels and the economy. ” Their response ? They threaten our small businesses recovering from one of the worst economic crises (in the United States). This is our land, and we will fight to protect it! “
Senator Moran introduced legislation yesterday to stop this, Fernandes told the audience.
Jane B. Ward, a 26-year-old USAF veteran and doctor, said she opposed the project.
“We’re a canary in a coal mine here on CC, and the rising seas are gg to dictate a lot of what happens here. Preparation is very important; however, I am very opposed to the planning process. This group that supports the Machine Gun lineup has not proven to me that there is a requirement for that lineup. This has been largely ignored. “
“If they build a new machine gun range … it will be a national training center, and what is the environmental impact?” Ward asked. “I think we have a lot of unanswered questions. How long before they realize their return on their investment? Have they considered simulation training? They’re building a lineup to justify staying here.”
Nathan Herscheler of Sandwich, a parent of a student at Forestdale Elementary School, reminded the crowd that JBCC is a current Superfund site and that the range on offer is “a completely unnecessary addition to the Cape Cod community that we love. all. We can do better.
“We spend $ 750 billion on the military every year in this country. And we are having this conversation today outside a school where teachers are paid a salary where they cannot necessarily afford to live in the city,” said Herscheler. “I really worry about the future of our children.”
Urging proactive action, Ella Sampou of South Yarmouth said it was only a matter of time before sea levels rose on the sandbar that is Cape Cod.
“I want to be part of a community where our voices are heard,” said the 2017 college graduate who recently returned to Cape Town.
Keith Lewison, executive member of the Sierra Club of Cape Cod, focused on how the loss of wildlife and wildlife habitat is also a big part of the issues. Nature rebounded in the years after the Superfund was cleaned up.
“The base should not allow the base to go back to ‘normal’,” Lewison said. “We have to put an end to this. There is a lot of arrogance (sic) … that we have to stand against. We have to rethink our relationship with our natural world, and this is the time. pride of this proposal. “
Mashpee Wampanoag Jodi Newcombe-Keegan of Falmouth said: “I am here today with tears in my eyes because of the sadness of what I saw in my lifetime. My ancestors hope and pray that our generation will preserve the land for future generations.
“We know better and we can do better,” she said. “I would like to tell them to take this investment and invest in wastewater treatment.”
Friday, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe joined the opposition due to the proposed clearcut and its location in a watershed protection zone.
“People have to understand that the Creator has given them a voice, and they have to use it,” said Marlene Lopez, a Wampanoag Mashpee attending Saturday’s rally. “Everything that happens here in Cape Town affects us all.
Forest health and conservation are essential weapons in the global fight against climate change. According to the National Resources Defense Council, they are power plants for carbon sequestration, absorbing up to 30% of our carbon emissions.
The Massachusetts Army National Guard has proposed that the 8-lane multipurpose machine gun range be located directly on the Upper Cape 15,000 Water Supply Reserve, a protected conservation area within Camp Edwards of the JBCC. Supporters say the range is essential for training the armed forces and preparing for national security.
But the area has been polluted with years of toxic spills by the training activities of the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s office, resulting in significant groundwater and soil contamination – and designation as a site of Superfund justifying a cleaning.
As a result, Chapter 47 of the Massachusetts Acts of 2002 was passed, requiring that any military use on the upper 15,000 acres of JBCC must be compatible with the protection of the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve – an aquifer of single source providing drinking water to at least six towns in Upper Cape: Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, Barnstable and Yarmouth.
Chapter 47 also prohibited activities that would threaten the wildlife and protected habitats of the pine forest and grasslands, unique ecosystems on the Upper Cape.
The National Guard Bureau approved the project on April 30 in an environmental survey that found no significant impact from the range. And last month, the project received a nod of approval from the Scientific Advisory Board, upsetting environmental activists who are against the project.
The final unanimous opinion of the five-member Science Advisory Board stated that the proposed line of multipurpose machine guns meets current environmental performance standards. However, during the review process, the board identified the need to review the standards.
The Science Advisory Board is responsible for overseeing the drinking water supply and wildlife habitat reserve in the Upper Cape Cod Water Supply Reserve, which spans approximately 15,000 acres located on Common Base Cape Cod.
The council’s concerns included the lack of data on how copper affects the environment and how performance review standards do not account for the loss of carbon sequestration with clearcutting of trees for make way for the new line of machine guns. Concerns also include how the range would affect the region’s aquifer and wildlife habitat, as well as the traffic and noise the range would generate.
The machine gun range project would require 199 acres of land disturbance, including 170.5 acres of clearcut forest area to accommodate the range footprint, control area operations and facilities, roads, firewalls and other aspects of the project, according to the Guard’s Environmental Assessment.
The multipurpose machine gun range, planned for the base’s existing KD site, or “known range” range, would cost $ 11.5 million, including $ 9.7 million for the construction of the base. shooting and $ 1.8 million for target shooting.
Opponents including Andrew Gottlieb, CEO of the APCC, and Rosemary Dreger Carey of the 350 Cape Cod Group, say neither the Guard nor the advisory board allowed the public to comment on the project beyond the bare minimum of the process. federal.
Likewise, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has called for a third-party review and review, particularly after receiving an email earlier this month from Brigadier General Christopher M. Faux threatening to withdraw support from JBCC to Cape Town businesses.
Faux complained that the “only people who speak out are opponents, activists and anti-military groups.” He recommended in writing that the Adjutant General of the JBCC order the soldiers at Joint Base Cape Cod to eat at the base or to travel outside the Cape to purchase goods and services.
“An open, public and scientific discussion, free from recriminations and threats to the people who live and work here, will help mend their relationship with the community,” Northcross said. “Our organization would be ready to participate in a fully open dialogue.”
Mashpee resident Richard Klein echoed Northcross’ call for more environmental impact studies at the JBCC.
“Their fuels leaked into our water system, and they spent millions and millions of dollars cleaning it up, and now they’re trying to add a line of machine guns?” said Richard Klein of Mashpee. “Cape Town can’t take it.” Just yesterday they closed Mashpee Wakeby Pond“to swimming because of nitrogen pollution and cyanobacteria,” Klein added.