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Forest Service urges ethical target shooting behavior

The following is a news release from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest
POCATELLO — Visitor use at the local Lead Draw area in Pocatello is seeing a dramatic increase as people look for opportunities to get outside while practicing social distancing. Unfortunately, irresponsible target shooting is creating major safety and resource concerns.
“The Forest Service promotes multiple-use activities,” said Kim Obele, Westside District Ranger. “The Lead Draw area is unique in the sense that it supports hiking, biking, target shooting, permitted livestock grazing and scientific research.” Obele points out that these uses can coexist if people are responsible and aware of their actions, but some target shooters are making that difficult.
Jay Youngblood, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, points out that some shooters set up targets directly across the trail and shoot up the canyon where the trail heads back into the forest. “We’ve gotten reports of recreationalists who can’t come down the trail because bullets are whizzing by—this is unacceptable.”
Youngblood says appropriate shooting etiquette requires individuals to have a solid backstop, not shoot across trails and developed recreation sites and to pick up their targets when they leave. “We have people shoot televisions, couches and other miscellaneous materials and leave the remnants including shattered glass behind.”
Not only is this unsafe and unsightly, but it’s also a resource concern. Obele points out that some dedicated citizens in Pocatello spent last weekend cleaning up the area when they could have been enjoying the actual trail. “It’s not fair to the taxpayer, my staff or these amazing volunteers to clean up other people’s trash.”
The Forest Service is urging people to practice responsible shooting techniques to keep our public land and forest users safe. Remember, respected access is open access. For more information, contact the Westside Ranger District at (208) 236-7500.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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