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Residents of a Utah community are upset about the planned shooting range nearby

A planned new shooting range in Utah County is causing residents to panic, feeling inadequately informed and unsafe.

Up on the hill west of Payson lies the community of West Mountain. It is a mostly quiet community full of people looking to escape the crowds of the big city.

However, they felt that this would soon change.

Above their homes, at the foot of a mountain, is the site for a new shooting range that would border some of their homes.

“It's going to sound like a little war in our backyard,” said Jon Cheney, who lives in the community.

The back of a man's property bordered directly on the shooting range.

“We have horses, we have cows. I'm building a playground for the kids,” Alex Lathrop said.

The range is proposed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. It would span 537 acres of BLM land and feature outdoor shooting ranges, pistol ranges, and areas for competitive shooting sports such as skeet shooting.

As many amenities as the range offers, neighbors have almost as many concerns. Lead contamination, noise pollution, overcrowding and more – they say their voices are not being heard.

“We are in the middle of it and have not received any information about security measures or anything like that. Nor have we been given time to ask questions because the public hearing ends on Friday,” Lathrop said.

Although public comment has been open since May 30, residents said they only learned about the plan a few days ago.

Another group of residents had a meeting with BLM to discuss their concerns but are still concerned about the way the process was handled.

“How can you set up a shooting range 100 yards from my house, shoot six days a week, 10 hours a day, and I still have the right to undisturbed enjoyment? How is that even possible?” asked Byron _____.

KUTV reached out to BLM about the project but has not received a response since, likely due to the Juneteenth holiday. KUTV also reached out to CMP but has not received a response from them either.

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Anna Harden

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