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Letter: Shooting proposal the tip of the iceberg?

To the Editor:

In the Declaration of Independence (dated July 4,1776) there is a list of grievances which were the Justification to Declare Independence from England. Among these grievances is this paragraph.

“He (King George) has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

The United States Forest Service is holding “hearings” on “proposed” restrictions on “sport” (target) shooting on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National forests. Supposedly this will not at this time affect hunting.

These hearings are scheduled for:

Monday, Aug. 31, 5-7 p.m., at the Nederland Community Center, 750 Highway 72 Nederland;

Tuesday, Sept. 1, 5-7 p.m., Clear Creek Middle school, 320 Highway 103, Idaho Springs;

And Wednesday, Sept. 2, 5-7 p.m., Canyon Lakes Ranger District, 2150 Center Ave. Fort Collins.

It is quite clear that the Forest Service is violating the spirit of the above paragraph, and it is also quite clear that they want as little opposition input as possible from those of us that do go “sport” shooting on federal property!. You can bet that anti-gunners will be there in droves.

If the Forest Service really wanted “public” input, they would have meetings in Grand, and Summit counties, and they would be held on days and at times when working people could attend.

It is my personal belief that by the time that any “public agency” gets around to having “hearings” that the decisions have been made, and the “hearings” are just for show.

I also DO recognize the fact that there are some places on public lands that use and population are getting too crowded to allow “sport” shooting, and that these places need to be “posted.” Vasquez Creek is just one example.

If you wish to get more information about these “proposed” restrictions please go to the following website: http://www/fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/recshootinmgt, or to jmilligan@fs.fed.us.

No matter what initial rules may come down now, you can expect that “sport” shooters will eventually be locked out of the “public lands,” just as those of us that like old jeep trails are being locked out now.

The long term Forest Service policy is to squeeze all use into increasingly smaller areas, like the Arapaho National Recreation Area, and close the rest of public lands to all use.

Norm Benson

Fraser


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