The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 17, 2012

Outdoor sports academy near Table Rock approved

From The Associated Press

BRANSON, Mo. — A proposal to build an outdoor sports complex near Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri has been approved despite neighbors’ objections over the potential for noise, particularly from shooting activities on the site.

The Taney County Planning Commission on Monday approved the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy at Big Cedar, which will offer sport shooting, hunting, hiking and other outdoor activities on the 946-acre site on the south side of Missouri 86 between U.S. 65 and Table Rock Lake.

Before approving the plan, the commission imposed restrictions on the target, clay, skeet and trap shooting, as well as quail and pheasant hunting and a release bird hunting area.

Shooters will have to use noise reducing equipment on rifles at the target range and berms must be built near the shooting areas. Also, the commission limited shooting to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. from March to November and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from December through February. Shooting will be allowed until 11 p.m. on up to 12 weekend dates.

After the vote, neighbor Jeremy Worley said he would appeal to the county’s board of adjustment because he believes the county’s approval process is flawed, The Springfield News-Leader reported ( ).

“There was too short of a time given to make a decision,” he said.

Worley noted that a public hearing was held only last week and that commissioners admitted they received documents from Bass Pro officials as late as 4 p.m. Monday and had not been able to read all of them.

Eddie Wolfe, representing Bass Pro, said the company has performed sound studies indicating shooting would be no louder than ordinary conversation for the nearest neighbors. He told commissioners that Bass Pro owner Johnny Morris “is dedicated to reducing sound levels even more.”

In addition to shooting activities, the project will offer hiking, ATV tours, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing and paintball.