Saturday, May 13, 2006

Battlefront Bulletins from the WAR IN THE WEST

This from Diane Nicholl, a fine firearms instructor and co-author (with Vicki Farnam) of TEACHING WOMEN TO SHOOT: A Law Enforcement Instructors Guide. Diane made it to the second Forest Service "show trial" alledged public meeting. Here's her report:
I thought I would let you know you had an impact at the Longmont meeting. I attended the Forest Service public meeting this morning and Walsh made
no mention of consistent regulations. She did not use the slide that was
left up in Longmont.

Meeting was scheduled to start at 10AM. Only 7 people present so delayed
until 10:15AM. Total of 11 people, two were Boulder Sheriffs Officers,
one in uniform and the other not.

Before the meeting, Walsh said “this is lighter than we thought.” I also
heard her say, the NRA wants to jump in and give us some money.”

There were at least 10 staff members. Walsh said some of the small group
facilitors did not work for the Forest Service but the “group.” She never
said what the “group” was.

Law enforcement present included two rangers from the Forest Service (one
from Fort Collins), one uniformed Boulder County Sheriff’s officer and a
Boulder Sheriffs officer, Smith who was not in uniform. Once the meeting
started, the officers came into the room. During the small groups, the
uniformed SO was in one meeting until 11AM then Smith came and sat in the
room. The Forest Service rangers roamed around in the hallway. Smith
said he was in Longmont. He told me he invited his officer to the meeting
today because he patrols the mountain district and wanted him to hear what
was going on.

Walsh said they had 30 people attend in Longmont.

Only a few slides in the powerpoint presentation. Walsh said the ones
they had used previously were hard to read. These graphs were still hard
to read. Showed a new slide about the number of visits to Arapaho and
Roosevelt National Forest versus other national forests. It is unclear if
they are comparing visits to all National Forest or just the ones they
define as Urban Front Country. Showed a map of the forest. Nothing about
regulations in other areas and did not utter the word consistent. The
next person to speak, had a slide showing the process and one with contact
information for the Boulder District office.

Walsh said the point of the meeting was to hear our issues, concerns and
needs. She asked if others had attended at Longmont and asked if the
slides today better identified what this was all about.

The main facilator told us not to ask questions of the Forest Service
people when they visited our small groups. They were just there to

Walsh said the decision on what to is her responsibility but she wanted
input from the public. She said they chose campfires, dispersed camping
and recreational shooting as top priority because of resource damage and
public safety. She said there was one other reason but could not think of
what it was and staff did not have an answer for her just vague
suggestions about visitor quality of experience.

Walsh said she had earlier met with other Urban Front Country forest
rangers from Pike National forest and White River National forest. She
said these were different from traditional forest lands and needed more
than traditional management. Traditional rules are not appropriate for
Urban Forest.

Walsh said she was thinking about zoning. Develop some areas and limit
use in other areas.

She wanted to know what is going well, what problems we see and what needs
to improve. Tell us what is working.

She said she can get grant funds and volunteers to implement ideas. She
also said she could work with contractors to keep money in the area.

My small group had four people from the audience. A person from
Rollisnville, a couple from Lafayette, the uniformed officer and myself. The person from Rollinsville was concerned about shooting limit of only
150 yards but mainly talked about fire danger and dispersed camping. The
couple hunted and used areas other than Left Hand for practice. They also
hunt mushrooms and hike.

Topics included more signage to prevent user conflict.

I asked if Left Hand was managed recreation and the forest service person
said yes then backtracked and said there was also unmanaged recreation.

We could have finished at 11AM but the facilator and other forest service
person kept trying to keep it going. For example, they asked what we
thought about the trash problem. Told us they could try to word a
solution as an issue. We finished around 11:25 AM.

The other group had six people. They mainly talked about shooting.
Knowledgeable forest service people did not speak up and there was lots of
misinformation that was not corrected. A couple from Boulder Heights, a
high power shooter from Denver, a woman from Rollinsville and a shooter
from Boulder.

Lots of complaints about shooters, atv riders and campers from the land

Walsh said she mailed out 300 letters and talked to Grant at the Boulder
Rifle Club trying to reach shooters. They did not post notices at any of
the shooting areas-“they would just be shot up." A worker told me they
were planning to print flyers and pass them out at shooting areas for the
next part of the process.

Could not explain why nothing is on the Boulder District web page!
Golly! "Consistency" is no longer one of the driving reasons for "stealing" our right to shoot on public land! Call me crazy, but isn't that...inconsistent?

Three hundred letters? A massive effort to reach shooters? Well gosh, I hate that I'm so darned hard to find! After all, I'm only on national television three times a week, have two of the most visited firearms sites on the Internet, have a listed phone number and have talked to the USFS before. No WONDER they couldn't find me! Ditto for Colonel Bob...I mean, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine is only one of the better know pubs around, Bob has been one of the highest profile Second Amendment advocates in Colorado and he's a sitting memver of the NRA Board of Directors. Col. Bob — shame on you for hiding!

There is one more "public meeting show trial," and I urge you to contact every living human being you know and ask them to attend!

Herre is the data:

Wednesday, 17 May 2006
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
New Vista High School
700 20th Street
The People's Republic of Boulder, CO

Hey, bring your friends, the dog, the cat, various kitchen appliances, EVERYONE, and if I can get my flight changed and get back from D.C. in time — which I think I can — I'll be buying brewskis (organic microwbrews, of course...maybe we should go to Mountain Sun for hippie beer!) afterwards!!!!

And be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, you being gentle people and all!

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