Input Sought to Develop Recreational Target Shooting Policy for Monument

BLM to conduct public meeting Wednesday at AZGFD headquarters

Portion of Arizona Sonoran Desert National Monument Closed to Recreational Shooting
Portion of Arizona Sonoran Desert National Monument
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department

Phoenix, AZ -( Constituents who are interested in recreational target shooting are encouraged to provide their input for the Bureau of Land Management’s revision of a portion of the Resource Management Plan for the Sonoran Desert National Monument near Gila Bend.

The first of three public meetings, scheduled by the BLM, will take place from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the Quail Room at Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix.

Under a March 2015 federal court order, the BLM’s Phoenix District Office is required to reanalyze the impacts of recreational target shooting on monument objects. A 60-day public scoping period is underway through March 21 to help guide the BLM in the development of land-use management alternatives related to recreational target shooting.

In addition, two other public meetings have been scheduled:

  • Thursday, Feb. 25: 4-8 p.m., Gila Bend Community Center, 202 N. Euclid Ave., Gila Bend, 85337
  • Friday, Feb. 26:  4-8 p.m., Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, 85338

Based on public input and impact analysis of each alternative, a draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment with an associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be made available for public review and comment. Once approved, the monument’s RMP will be amended to identify where and if there will be restrictions on recreational target shooting within the 486,400-acre monument. Restrictions resulting from this decision will not affect licensed hunting in accordance with state regulations, but it potentially could restrict all other forms of recreational shooting, including target practice and the sighting-in of firearms.

Mail comments to the BLM’s project manager, Wayne Monger, at 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85027, or fax to (623) 580-5623, or e-mail to [email protected]gov.

View the Notice of Intent to amend the RMP that was published Jan. 21, 2016, in the Federal Register.

About the Arizona Game and Fish Department:

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is the state agency charged with conserving the entire range of wildlife within our borders, from big game such as elk and deer to smaller mammals, reptiles and fish. The Department is one of the nation’s leading proponents of the “North American Model of Wildlife Conservation,” which relies on sound science, public participation, active habitat management, strict regulation and active law enforcement to sustain wildlife populations.

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