S’Klallam Tribe removes former gun club building

LITTLE BOSTON — The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe has removed the former gun club building from its trust land on the corner of Hansville Road and NE 288th Street.

The work began on March 21.

A gun club had operated at the site for decades before the Tribe acquired the land the building sat on. The Tribe allowed the Kingston Junior Marksman Club to continue to use the building, rent-free, through 2010.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is not affiliated with the Kingston Junior Marksman Club.

After the Tribe took ownership of the land, its Natural Resources Department conducted an initial environmental study of the building and land and found no issues of concern. More extensive tests revealed high levels of lead contamination within the building and its dirt floor. The Tribe immediately ceased any and all operations connected to the building and closed it to public access. It was determined that the building needed to be removed for environmental and public good.

A certified lead testing and abatement contractor was hired by the Tribe to remove the building, including properly and legally disposing of any contaminated waste. This process also includes the proper and legal cleanup of contaminated soil under and around the building.

Next steps include continued testing of the soil in the area to ensure all contamination has been removed.

The property remains closed to the public. There are currently no development plans for the land.

In a statement issued about the removal of the building and site cleanup, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe thanked the operators of the gun club “for teaching generations of users responsible gun safety.”

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (www.pgst.nsn.us) is a sovereign indigenous nation and, with the United States, is a signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point No Point. The treaty made land available for newcomers. but the S’Klallam Tribe reserved certain resource rights throughout its historical territory.

In the late 1930s, the Port Gamble S’Klallam reservation, on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, was established. Many of the Tribe’s members, who total about 1,200, live there.