February 17, 2016

Input needed to help develop recreational target shooting policy for monument

BLM to conduct public meetings Feb. 24-26, comment deadline is March 21

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages the public, especially those interested in recreational target shooting, to provide their input for revision of a portion of the Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Sonoran Desert National Monument near Gila Bend.

Under a March 2015 federal court order, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 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 BLM in the development of land-use management alternatives related to recreational target shooting.
In addition, three public meetings have been scheduled:

Feb. 24: 5:30-9:30 p.m., Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086
Feb. 25: 4-8 p.m., Gila Bend Community Center, 202 N. Euclid Ave., Gila Bend, AZ 85337
Feb. 26: 4-8 p.m., Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, AZ 85338

Based on public input and impact analysis of each alternative, a draft Resource Management Plan 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 BLM_AZ_SDNMtargetshooting@BLM.gov.
View the Notice of Intent to amend the RMP that was published Jan. 21, 2016, in the Federal Register.