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Saluda residents call meeting to oppose firing range

SALUDA — Saluda citizens have called a communitywide meeting for Monday night to organize opposition to a sheriff's office firing range, two days before Henderson County commissioners are likely to confront a roomful of shooting range opponents. The community meeting is at 6:30pm at the Saluda Fire Department and invite everyone to attend to hear more about the plans that Henderson County is proposing.

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Opponents have also launched a petition they plan to present to the Board of Commissioners. Copies are available at shops on Main Street in Saluda or online at

“Before there was “Saluda” there was Pace’s Gap which was in the county of Henderson. When Polk County was recreated in 1854, a portion of that part of Henderson County that included Pace’s Gap was made part of Polk County. Saluda was chartered a town in 1881 and the city limits is a one-mile radius of Main St. in Saluda which is in Polk County. However, there is still a section of the Henderson county boundaries that include Saluda, the NC Wildlife Gamelands, The Palmetto Trail, and other preserved lands. Today, 144% of

Saluda residents in Henderson County account for about $1.4 million in property tax revenue in Henderson County, orgainizers said.

"The hope is that all Henderson County citizens (whether living in Saluda or not) would want to help Saludians protect and preserve the specialness of Saluda’s quality lifestyle, outdoor recreation, and heritage,” says Saluda resident Tom McHugh.

Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden said: “We are concerned that the outdoor shooting range could have a negative impact upon the quality of life for local residents and the environment. It could also be detrimental to our tourism and ecotourism-based businesses, reduce revenues to local shops and restaurants, and reduce property values."

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners on April authorized its staff to negotiate purchase of the property for $650,000. The 99-acre tract at 2823 Macedonia Road borders the Green River Gamelands.

Residents interested in the issue were invited to contact Susan McHugh at or Sara Bell at