Recreational shooting has Forest Service's all-clear
Hints of a ban in Boulder County fired up shooters
Target shooters in Boulder may be safe after all.
U.S. Forest Service officials said Wednesday that they will not be looking to ban recreational shooting on national forest land in Boulder County.
Meeting with state lawmakers, Forest Service Regional Forester Rick Cables said earlier accounts of banning shooting on national forest land in the county were incorrect and not in keeping with the agency's ideals.
"The Forest Service honors the Second Amendment, period," he said.
The discussion Wednesday at the Capitol came on the heels of a series of open meetings in Boulder County discussing the Forest Service's Urban Front Country Initiative.
In reaction to the rising population along the Front Range, the plan aims to lessen the impact of heavy use of forest land near Colorado's larger cities.
The initiative is still in the exploratory phases. There are no proposed regulations, and the Forest Service is still asking for suggestions on the plan.
But at meetings this year in Boulder County, officials from the Boulder District Ranger's Office hinted at a recreational shooting ban.
The worry among recreational shooters was that a ban not only would violate the Second Amendment but also create a precedent to ban shooting for the five other national forests involved in the initiative.
In May, a bipartisan group of 44 Colorado lawmakers sent a letter to Cables, expressing their concern. Cables accepted an invitation to meet at the Capitol and tried to ease tensions Wednesday.
"There is no pre-emptive strike by the federal government right now," he said.
"We are in the very first stages of trying to address these issues. We ought to have opportunities for recreational shooting on the Front Range."
Cables also promised to standardize the process for recording complaints to better follow how many are lodged against shooters.
Cables said he would create pamphlets to be given out at shooting areas, showing where the activity is allowed and how to lessen the impact on the environment.
"We will have a discussion about what happened in Boulder and see what we can do from here."
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Report on USFS Meeting in Local Paper
Frm the Rocky Mountain News this AM: