Sky Valley Sportsman's Park

BE ADVISED – THIS IS NOT YET A USEABLE FACILITY

THIS PROJECT IS IN DESIGN PHASE ONLY. THE PROPERTY IS STILL CURRENTLY UNDER THE OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT. OF NATURAL RESOURCES (DNR).

SNOHOMISH COUNTY DOES NOT CURRENTLY HAVE A RECREATIONAL SHOOTING FACILITY AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC USE. 

Don't be part of the problem!

  • Abide by DNR's signage, posted regulations and safe shooting practices.
  • Remember to pick up after yourself.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and backdrop.

OVERVIEW

  1. Project Status
  2. Project Description
  3. History

Updated 5/11/22

  • An RFP for the Range Operator/Managing Partner will be advertised as soon as the facility lease agreement wording and obligations of parties has been finalized.
  • After an Operating/Management partner has been identified the Master Plan will be brought to County Council for consideration of adoption.
  • In the meantime, DNR’s timber sale on the property is moving forward. Sierra Pacific will start logging next fall/winter. The logging contract will expire no later than 3/31/24.
  • The selected site will be reconveyed to the Snohomish County Division of Parks and Recreation following the harvesting of the timber.
  • The design of the master plan was completed in June 2021 with input and oversight being given by an ad hoc committee composed of various shooting interests, neighbors, supporters and concerned residents. 
  • This draft master plan will be going to County Council for review in 2022.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

On behalf of the Snohomish County Parks team, thank you for your interest in the proposed Sky Valley Sportsman's Park. This is a facility that has been identified as a priority in order to provide a safe, legal shooting location since 1986 and efforts have been underway for many years to identify an appropriate location, identify types of amenities to be provided and to address concerns associated with shooting ranges. Parks staff have been working diligently to identify and address the public concerns related to the sportsman’s park. During the public meetings that have been held in years past, and most recently on 2/24/21, the primary concerns raised have been as follows: 

  1. Noise 
  2. Safety 
  3. Traffic 
  4. Lead contamination and other environmental impacts 
  5. Allocation of county resources into running the facility 

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below for responses addressing these concerns and other areas of interest. We also recommend watching the presentation video going into detail about the intentional design and purpose of this facility (linked below). If you have further questions, please reach out to our planning team at any time (see contact information below). We value transparency of information on all our projects. It has been the Park Division’s intention to be open, conscientious, and responsive in addressing these concerns in the placement, design and layout of the facility. Thank you! 

  1. Project Overview
  2. Cost
  3. Location
  4. Design Process

How can the public get involved with this process?  

A series of public meetings have been held for this project. The public input from these outreach efforts was incorporated into a draft master plan. This draft master plan will be going to County Council for review in early 2022. The best way for the public to voice their opinions is to contact their County Councilmember and/or the County Executive with their thoughts of support or concerns. No additional public meetings are currently scheduled. However, an Environmental Impact Statement is planned for development and there will be the opportunity for public comment through that process.  


Who owns the land where the project is being planned? 

The current landowner is the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is located in east Snohomish County near the City of Sultan. The property is approximately 640 acres fronting on the Sultan Basin Road and surrounded by other DNR land. The property is planned to be transferred to Snohomish County through a reconveyance process. This park is intended to be developed into a multi-purpose sportsman’s park and will be managed through a public-private or public-nonprofit partnership. The selected site will be reconveyed to Snohomish County Parks following the harvesting of the timber in the fall/winter of 2024. The development of the sportsman's park is unlikely to begin sooner than spring of 2025. 


Why is this project being developed? 

This is a facility that has been identified as a priority for the county in order to provide a safe, legal shooting location and efforts have been underway for many years to identify an appropriate location, identify types of amenities to be provided and to address concerns associated with shooting ranges. This type of facility has been identified as a priority in the 1986, 2001 and 2007 Comprehensive Park and Recreation Plans as well as in the 2015 Parks and Recreation Element. 


Snohomish County does not have a facility that supports recreational shooting and firearms training. A high percentage of the county population are gun owners. People are looking for places to engage in recreational target shooting (both firearm and archery) and to practice the safe handling of their firearms. Because the need for this type of facility has not been met, many people go to the outlying, semi-remote areas and DNR lands to engage in such activities. Unfortunately, this is not well organized, coordinated or supervised and as such creates a safety and pollution concern. The Sky Valley Sportsman’s Park will provide a practical way to meet recreational needs while providing increased safety and environmental protection. 

How can the public get involved with this process?  


A series of public meetings have been held for this project. The public input from these outreach efforts was incorporated into a draft master plan. This draft master plan will be going to County Council for review in early 2022. The best way for the public to voice their opinions is to contact their County Councilmember and/or the County Executive with their thoughts of support or concerns. No additional public meetings are currently scheduled. However, an Environmental Impact Statement is planned for development and there will be the opportunity for public comment through that process.

  1. Environmental Impacts
  2. Noise Concerns
  3. Traffic and Safety

What studies have been done so far?


  • Environmental Noise Impact Report was completed on 5/28/21 (see copy in documents section) 
  • Critical Areas Reconnaissance (May 2019) (see copy in documents section) 

Additional anticipated studies:

An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is anticipated to be completed for the project, but the timing has not yet been determined.  This study will be completed when the property is transferred to the county and funding is secured to complete the EIS. The EIS will inventory and document all anticipated impacts (both positive and negative) and will list ways to mitigate the negative impacts. 


How will the Sky Valley Sportsman’s Park affect wildlife in the area? 

The property for the project is currently owned and managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR identified the site with the intent to avoid critical areas, minimize impacts to private property and take advantage of beneficial topographical features for orienting the shooting range. There was a Critical Areas Reconnaissance, completed in May 2019 by the firm ESA. This was done to determine the location and extent of critical areas. This information was used to determine the suitability of the site for use as a shooting park. This study is linked in the documents section on this webpage and the design has been completed to avoid impacts to critical areas, which provide important wildlife habitat. In addition, further evaluation of how the site may impact wildlife will completed as part of the EIS process. 


Lead Contamination/Environmental Concerns 

Snohomish County Parks & Recreation is committed to being good stewards of the environment and responsive to public identified concerns. Fortunately, the topographic landform, natural hydrologic flow, and location of the critical areas within the site support protection of natural resources in the area along with integrated design features.    


The project design consultants have incorporated design elements that conform to the best management practices for lead at outdoor shooting ranges as set forth in the EPA publication EPA-902-B-01-001 including: 

  • Bullet and fragment containment  
  • Preventing migration of lead to the subsurface and surrounding surface water bodies 
  • Removal and recycling of the lead from the range 
  • Documentation of activities and record keeping (this is a procedural best management practice and will be a requirement of the facility lease contract) 

In addition, removing bullets from the impact areas on a regular interval will be required as a condition of the operating lease, and stormwater facilities will be designed for lead removal. The requirement for lead reclamation is not only an environmentally responsible requirement but it is also economically beneficial as the material has value and can be recycled. All stormwater collecting structures will be designed for any lead to settle out of the stormwater. Throughout the facility, structures will be designed to facilitate lead removal and reclamation. For more details on this process, please watch the video recording of the 2/24/21 meeting on the webpage. 


Hydrologic Flow/Watershed Concerns 

Concerns have been raised about the flow of water from the Sky Valley Sportsman’s Park to downstream sites and the potential for contaminants to move with that flow. As noted under the lead contamination concern question, the site is designed for control and containment of all lead for reclamation, and prevention of lead migration of lead to subsurface and surface water bodies. Any other contaminants generated by the facility will be handled by following all regulations (e.g., stormwater treatment and handling). The site topography moves water to the low ground critical area in the SE corner of the site. All water leaving the site will meet water quality requirements. This property is not hydrologically linked to Lake Bronson as the previous site was.   


Critical Area Concerns 

As noted above, a critical areas study has been completed for the site and the project design locates features outside wetland boundaries and buffers.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  1. Meeting Notes
  2. Documents
  3. Video Presentation 2/24/21
  4. Contact Information