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Colorado: Management Plan for Public Lands Will Affect Target Shooting

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a resource management plan (RMP) for 500,000 acres managed by the agency’s Colorado River Valley Field Office located in Silt and within the counties of Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, Roult, Mesa, and Rio Blanco.  The planning area extends from Vail in the east to Parachute in the west and from Toponas in the north to Aspen in the south.

This RMP, which outlines four management alternatives, can be viewed by clicking here.  A list showing how recreational shooting is treated in each of the alternatives can be found below.

Alternative A is the “no action” alternative.  It explains current management and is used to compare the three new management alternatives.  The RMP states that there are no BLM-approved target shooting sites, but approximately nine sites are historically known for target shooting.

The comment period is open until December 16 and BLM will announce in advance public meetings regarding this RMP.  Comments can be e-mailed to [email protected].  For further information, you may contact John Russell, RMP Project Manager, at (970) 876-9025 or by e-mail at [email protected].  Ask to be added to a mailing list to receive notices of the meetings.

If you enjoy target shooting on these lands, it is extremely important that you review the plan to determine how it will affect your future access for target shooting.  This new RMP will set the course for public use management for years to come.  Please attend at least one of the public meetings and take the time to e-mail comments to the BLM.

Alternative A:

Restrictions on use:
Firearm Use Restriction.  Prohibit the discharge of firearms for recreational target shooting on the following BLM lands (Figure 2-31, Appendix A):
·         Developed recreation sites
·         Within 300 feet from the centerline of North Hardscrabble Access Road (Spring Creek) located in Township 5 South, Range 85 West, Track 80, Sixth Principal Meridian

Alternatives B and C:
Restrictions on use:
Firearm Use Restriction.  Prohibit the discharge of firearms for recreational target shooting on the following BLM lands (Figure 2-32, Appendix A).  The purpose of the restriction is to protect visitor safety by minimizing potential for accidental shootings (43 CFR 8364.1).  Continue to permit hunting in accordance with CDOW regulations.
Same areas as Alternative A, plus the following:
·         Developed recreation sites (existing and future)
·         Silt Mesa on BLM lands south of the crest of the Grand Hogback in (Township 5 South, Range 91 West Township 5 South, Range 92 West Township 6 South, Range 91 West Township 6 South, Range 92 West, Sixth Principal Meridian)
·         Battlement Creek within 0.25 mile of Garfield County Road 302 Township 7 South, Range 95 West Sections 14 and 15

Alternative D:
Restrictions on use:
Firearm Use Restriction.  Prohibit the discharge of firearms for recreational target shooting on the following BLM lands (Figure 2-33, Appendix A). The purpose of the restriction is to protect visitor safety by minimizing potential for accidental shootings (43 CFR 8364.1). Continue to permit hunting in accordance with CDOW regulations.
Same areas as Alternative B, except not including the following:
·         Silt Mesa on BLM lands south of the crest of the Grand Hogback in Township 5 South, Range 91 West; Township 5 South, Range 92 West; Township 6 South, Range 91 West; and Township 6 South, Range 92 West, Sixth Principal

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