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Shotgun waste issue could force Cudahy gun club to close

A trap shooting club that's been a south shore fixture for more than 80 years may need to close for good at the end of this year.  The Milwaukee County Parks Department told the Cudahy Sportsmen's Club it has until December 31 to get out, citing years of environmental concerns.

\"Outside of my wife, my business, my kids, [this place means] Just about everything,\" club president Tom Ahmad said.

Ahmad joined decades ago as a trap helper. The club itself started in the early 1930s and moved to it's current location in Warnimont Park on the Lake Michigan bluffs in the late 1950s. But, October 31st this year, Ahmad got the news from the parks department.

\"Personal phone call from parks director [John] Dargle stating our lease was going to be terminated,\" Ahmad said.

The main issue: Environmental concerns and complaints of shotgun casing waste -- or wads -- ending up near the shoreline.

\"Friends of Grant Park raised some issues,\" Ahmad said.  \"They continue to be a driving force in getting us out.\"

That group runs a blog, posting several times about the Club in the last three days.  One post says, \"One of our members collected over a thousand waddings in ninety minute within a one hundred fifty yard section of the beach at Grant Park.\"  Ahmed admits some casings hit the shore, but says his club cleans the beach monthly.

\"When we're pulling out a ton of garbage to a hundred pounds of wads and you're complaining about the wads? It doesn't add up,\" Ahmad said.

The Friends of Grant Park group doesn't stop there. Another paragraph reads: \"The club itself admitted it uses approximated 25,000 clay targets a year, many of which land in the lake... While biodegradable clay targets were available to the Club, they chose instead to use those containing toxic materials including petroleum based products.\"


Ahmad

says his club switched to biodegradable targets for a few years, but learned those destroy vegetation, which he says would weaken an already eroding cliff.

\"We have actual science behind us and they just have speculation.\" Ahmad said.

But the decision ultimately still lies with the County Parks Director Dargle, a manAhmadd says hasn't given his club a fair shot.

\"We can't even get the respect of those involved to arrange a meeting and actually hold that meeting,\" Ahmad said.  \"That's very disrespectful.\"

CBS-58 reached out to Dargle, who said he was unavailable to comment Saturday.  Messages left for the Friends of Grant Park went unreturned as of Saturday night.

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