Sunday, October 11, 2009

President's Message

MONTHLY MEETING: The October meeting will be held at Shari's Restaurant on Valley Mall Boulevard beginning at 6:30 on the 13th. Several of us come early to eat, and all attendees must order something. Everyone is invited, but a short Executive session will follow the regular meeting, and directors only may attend that session.

SHOT MINING: You probably saw the article about shot mining in the Herald-Republic. The project is complete, and nearly 100,000 pounds of lead were recovered. Once the smelting is complete, Sun Valley will receive $12,500 for its share, and the board of directors has voted to put the entire sum into an emergency fund.

GROUPS USE SHOOTING PARK: Several groups are meeting at the park annually, and on September 26, two groups used it at the same time. Biathloners used the area near the long range on the west side to set up a running course and to shoot .22 rifles. At the same time, Pheasants Forever used the western area for a kids' pheasant shoot. They pushed the wild pheasants out of the area first, and then the planted pheasants for the kids. They left approximately 20 pen-raised birds in the hope they will join their wild cousins and learn some survival skills. Pheasants forever also left 2 large sacks of grain to feed the birds.

FERTILIZER DONATION: Steve Laws of Crop Production Services in Toppenish donated approximately 1000 pounds of fertilizer and other chemicals to spread on several acres of lawn prior to winter. Thanks, Steve, for the generous donation and for bringing a large compressor to the park to blow the water lines before freeze up. Steve has also promised us Roundup, 2-4-D and other such chemicals at or below his cost.

MEMBERSHIP: Holly Sutton tells me Sun Valley's paid membership stands at well over 200 with more than 100 coming due within the next two months. Presuming most of those renew, my goal of 400 paid memberships may be possible within the next couple of years.

DISC NEEDED: We badly need a disc that will attach to our tractor for plowing the perimeter of the park as a fire break. The late Leon Edmondson used to provide that disc, and I have been trying unsuccessfully to contact his widow, Paula, to see about purchasing the disc. If any of you see Paula, please ask her to give me a call. Or, if you know where a used disc might be purchased, tell me about that, too.

MEETING WITH DEPT. OF ECOLOGY AND COUNTY OFFICIALS: I will meet with members of the Dept. of Ecology as well as other county officials on October 12 at the park. I don't know what we will be talking about, but I hope all this will lead to the renewal of a twenty-year lease on the property which will make us eligible for grants from Pittman-Robertson funds next year. All other directors are invited to that meeting, of course.

DEEPENING AND LINING POND: As soon as the pond area is deepened, we will begin looking or Bentonite or other naturals materials to line the bottom helping to prevent water loss through absorption. Without the lining, the pond goes dry in three days. Working with Pheasants Forever, we also plan to pipe water into the draw below the pond to increase bird habitat.

COIN OPERATED SKEET AND TRAP: Clay Targets Chairman Mike Iasella is going ahead with plans to install coin-operated mechanisms for trap and skeet. Mike is on the east coast right now and will miss the October meeting, but we will look forward to a report at the November meeting.

CLOSING TIME: Joe and Holly are locking the clubhouse and will be unavailable after 5:00 PM. Shooters may continue to shoot, and Joe will lock the gate after their departure.

PALLETS OF CARDBOARD: We have nine pallets of cardboard in Selah waiting to be hauled to the range. Joe hauled one pallet in his pickup, but it was too much since it weighted approximately a ton. Does a member have a flatbed truck or low trailer that could be used to haul the pallets? The cardboard is used for target backing.