Integrated Management of Target Shooting on the Pike National Forest

 

Public Scoping Period Feb. 2, 3 and 4 via Zoom
Please join us on Feb. 2, 3 or 4 viz Zoom to discuss the Integrated Management of Target Shooting Project on the Pike National Forest. To participate please register at
https://cpw-state-co.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gxiYKpWiQyizK0STl0Wkow.

 

The Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PISCC) are proposing to manage target shooting (also called recreational sport shooting) on the Pike National Forest. The Integrated Management of Target Shooting on the Pike National Forest Project proposed action is available for public review.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed action to help inform the analysis of environmental effects within 45 calendar days of January 6, 2021.  Each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding this project must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request (218.24(b)(8)). All written comments received by the responsible official become a matter of public record (218.25(b)(2)).

Comments, including attachments, may be sent electronically by visiting the project website and clicking on the Comment/Object on Project link. Comments may be filed via mail, fax to 719-477-4233 or hand-delivered, express delivery or messenger during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) if the office is open to the public pending public health considerations:

Target Shooting Project
c/o Beth Davis
USDA Forest Service
5575 Cleora Road
Salida, CO 81201 hand delivery to the above address

Background

The Pike National Forest encompasses more than 1.1 million acres in central Colorado. Much of the forest is within a one-hour drive of Colorado’s two major metropolitan areas: Denver and Colorado Springs. The population size of these areas has grown significantly in the past decade and is now more than 3.5 million people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019).

Dispersed target shooting, where forest visitors set up targets and practice shooting in an undesignated, undeveloped location, is a legal use of National Forest System lands increasing in popularity more than predicted by the population growth in the area. The increasing numbers of people recreating the Forest have led to higher levels of user conflicts in general. Unfortunately, the number of recreational shooters who shoot in an unsafe manner has also increased. The increasing shooting activity has resulted in unacceptable levels of resource damage, including shooting-related wildfires, injuries, and at least one fatality. A description of the location and extent of resource damage that has occurred from target shooting, and photos showing examples of the damage, are available by clicking here.

The Integrated Management of Target Shooting Project proposes to actively manage recreational sport shooting on National Forest System lands. The project will identify areas unsuitable for dispersed target shooting, identify sites on the forest for developed shooting ranges, and define a conditions-based adaptive management framework to manage and maintain access to recreational target shooting in the future.

The PSICC is a member of the Southern Shooting Partnership, a group of 11 federal and state agencies, county governments, and utility providers working to address issues related to recreational sport shooting on public lands. The project occurs in conjunction with the activities of the Partnership. In 2019, the Partnership conducted a public outreach campaign, surveying public land users and recreational shooters about issues related to dispersed target shooting. The group held a series of public listening sessions in four counties. Public input from the outreach campaign helped develop the proposed action. In addition, the project is supported by a grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for shooting range design.

Details of the Integrated Management of Target Shooting Project, including the description of the proposed action, maps, and Question and Answers, are available at the project website.

For more information on the project, please contact Jennifer DeWoody, NEPA Planner, Interdisciplinary Team Leader at 719-477-4216 or email [email protected].