Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting - CNF

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Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting - CNF

Post by joebartels »

Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting, Huachuca Mountains, Wildland-Urban Interface, Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District
Release Date: Sep 9, 2021
Coronado_National_Forest wrote:The Coronado National Forest (CNF), Sierra Vista Ranger District, is proposing to issue a permanent closure order that will prohibit recreational shooting in the canyons located along the eastern side of the Huachuca Mountains, within the wildland-urban interface. The proposed closure area is close to several densely populated communities including Sierra Vista, Hereford, and Palominas. These communities include private land, homes, businesses, and multiple other structures. Recreational shooting in this area close to these communities poses an extreme risk to public health and safety and includes the increased risk of wildfire from ricocheting ammunition. Recreational shooting in the canyons located along the eastern side of the Huachuca Mountains has generated numerous conflicts between and among forest users and private landowners and has created unacceptable damage to natural resources.

The proposed closure area would extend one quarter mile off both sides of National Forest System roads occurring within Ash, Lutz, Stump, Hunter, Miller, Carr, and Brown Canyons. This approach mirrors previous temporary closures which have proven successful in reducing risk to the recreating public on the forest and to adjacent private landowners. With the permanent closure in place, approximately 98.3% of the Sierra Vista Ranger District would remain available and open to recreational shooting, consistent with federal and state recreational shooting laws and regulations. Hunting with a valid state permit in all east side canyons would still be allowed. The proposed size of the closure area has been limited to the minimum size necessary to meet the objective of protecting public health and safety.

The proposal follows the process outlined in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, and the Forest Service directives in the Law Enforcement and Investigations Handbook 5309.11, Chapter 30. Advance notice of the opportunity to provide public comment on the proposed closure is being provided until September 17, 2021. The CNF is requesting comments within the 60-day comment period starting September 17, 2021. The agency’s preference is that comments be submitted electronically through the Comment and Analysis Response Application (CARA): However, written comments can be sent to Celeste Kinsey, District Ranger, Sierra Vista Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, 4070 S. Avenida Saracino, Hereford, AZ 85615. Additional information can also be found at
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Re: Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting - CNF

Post by chumley »

I read this last week and perhaps one of the folks here who is more familiar with Arizona's firearm laws can reply. This proposal suggests prohibiting shooting within 1/4 mile of both sides of forest roads (valid hunting excepted).

Isn't it already illegal to discharge a firearm within 1/4 mile of a road in Arizona? Or is that only for buildings? Is this something that needs enforcement rather than a new law?
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Re: Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting - CNF

Post by Alston_Neal »

You must not discharge firearms within 150 yards of residences, buildings, campsites, occupied areas, recreational areas, or domestic livestock.
Shooting across a road, trail, or wash is prohibited.
Shooting should only take place in areas well away from other concentrations of people and property.
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Re: Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting - CNF

Post by Nighthiker »

I was once out target practicing when no shooting restrictions were in place. Target was still set up and somebody was actually shooting a firearm nearby and shortly thereafter forest law enforcement shows up and jumped out of his vehicle. I was sitting in a lawn chair eating a sandwich at the time when asked are you shooting. I replied I was target practicing with my atlatl and I believe the... when he interrupted me and told me he needed to secure it and write me a ticket and he did not care what kind of firearm it was. I took him over to the target and pointed to my atlatl and the atlatl darts. At that time we heard gunshots nearby and he left faster than he arrived.
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