Forest Service releases sport shooting proposal
July 20, 2015
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests has released its proposed Forest Plan Management Direction for recreational sport shooting activities on forest lands, including in Grand County.
The proposal includes a map identifying the areas deemed suitable for dispersed recreational sport shooting using current regulations, not suitable for dispersed recreational sport shooting, and proposed as designated shooting areas.
In general, suitable lands under the proposal for recreational sport shooting include areas farther than one-half mile from residential subdivisions or concentrated high use recreation areas. Approximately 1.1 million acres (or 80 percent of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests) are proposed as suitable for recreational sport shooting, according to the agency.
Areas considered unsuitable for recreational sport shooting are generally within one-half mile of residential subdivisions and concentrated recreation use areas.
Proposed management direction does not include any change in management for lawful hunting activities.
The proposal has two primary purposes (1) protecting public health and safety and (2) providing guidance and management for an important and growing use of the National Forests. While housing density, particularly along the Front Range, has increased near national forests, participation in recreational sport shooting has increased as well. The close proximity of shooting activities to residences and other high use public areas is causing safety concerns, according to the Forest Service.
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The U.S. Forest Service is requesting comments on this proposal for 30 days from the date of the publication notice on July 10. Comments can be submitted electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about this project and how to comment can be found at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/recshootingmgt. For more information about recreational sport shooting visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/targetshooting.