June 18, 2005

USFS Shuts Down Public Ranges In Colorado

Michael Bane first posted about the USFS closing down a shooting range near his home. We all assumed this was an isolated incident. Now it seems all public ranges in National Forests in Boulder county have been shut down by the USFS. Mr. Bane seems to think this is part of a concerted effort to shut down public ranges on all USFS property within the state & possibly the nation. I don't have the details that he does but from the surface it seems like his impression may be correct.

To be clear these are not typically ranges with known distance target stands & covered benches. These are simply areas set aside for target shooting so the shooters will be sure of having a safe backstop & minimal chance of another forest user (biker, skier, etc...) crossing their lane of fire. Most of my shooting in Colorado has been done on public ranges. They're free & more convenient (at least to me) than the public ranges operated by private enterprises.

I think that Mr. Bane is onto something; it seems like this could be a pilot program to guage public reaction to shutting down all shooting on public lands. But if he & I are wrong it's still worth your time to contact your senators & representatives (even if you live outside of Colorado) & express your concern & disapproval of this action by the USFS.

Oh yeah; tell any Fuddites you know about this cause I damn skippy think that hunting in National Forests will be next.

Update: 06/20/05 07:25 Jed has contact info

Update: 06/20/05 15:00 I just called the US Forest Service in Golden. They transferred me to the Boulder office. The lady I spoke with said that no land has been closed to shooting. If anyone else has made the call please leave a comment & let me know what you were told.

Update: 06/20/05 16:44 Heard from a few people that there are signs posted prohibiting shooting at Nederland & at Left Hand Canyon. Also heard there were plans on doing this in an adjecent national forest (i.e. closing down all areas to shooting). I'll have more info as I can get it. In the meantime go to Jed's for the Colorado contact info (or go to GOA's Legislative Action page if you're outside Colorado) & call your congresscritters.

Posted by Publicola at June 18, 2005 06:00 AM

Sent the following to both Allard and Salazar.

Senator ........,

I'm writing to express my concern over the apparent sneak attack by the United States Forest Service. The USFS has closed all the public shooting ranges on FS land without any warning or debate and I find that completely unacceptable. Where I live, the only range withing 40 min. drive is the one on forest service land and now that it has been closed I will have to use more gas and time to get to a range. I would very much appreciate any help you can give in rectifing this matter.

Thank you,

James Bowers

Posted by: Brass at June 18, 2005 09:01 AM

I am upset! I now live in Philly but I have many memories of shooting on a public range in Colorado.

Good letter. I will copy it if that is okay and send it to my representatives.

Posted by: Monica-Philadelphia at June 19, 2005 12:03 AM

James, I used part of the wording in your letter and sent it to my representatives here in PA. Thanks.

Posted by: Monica-Philadelphia at June 20, 2005 11:01 PM
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