Heals Range Shooting Noise Study

Heals Range in Saanich B.C. had been an active military small arms practice range since before the First World War. However by the early 1990’s, semi-rural residential development together with the upcoming use of the range in conjunction with the 1994 Commonwealth Games, had resulted in calls from some residents for restriction or termination of its use. The DND retained Wakefield Acoustics Ltd. to measure the noise from the types of shooting activities that regularly occurred and an to identify any means by which community noise impacts from firing practices could be reduced. The study included the ongoing monitoring of noise from a variety of shooting activities and of weather conditions at the 1000 m long range, which is bounded on two sides by rural farming and/or residential properties and on other two sides by forested lands. An empirical model was developed to predict shooting noise levels at various noise-sensitive locations as a function of firing pattern and location, meteorological conditions (wind speed and direction and air temperature gradients), terrain features and forest cover. This model was to be used by the DND to explore approaches to minimizing shooting noise disturbance through operational and/or physical control measures at the range.