I note in the previous comments a thread on ARF.com on Colorado (and the entire Front Range) issues regarding shooting on public land. The posts are built around stories in the local papers on the "destructiveness" of shooters, and I agree that irresponsible shooters make me and everyone else look bad.
HOWEVER — and this is a big big HOWEVER — before we go haring off about this issue, there are some very important points to be remembered (and Darrell, if you would please repost this on ARF.com, where I am BANNED FOR LIFE, I would appreciate it):
1) These are U.S. Forest Service "plants." USFS in the west is a violently antigun organization, who goal is to end all shooting on public land. There have been rumors of a USFS "summer offensive" for months now, and this is obviously the opening salvo. This was how they opened their last antigun initiative.
2) USFS seeks to create the problem that their "solution," ending shooting, would solve. By closing shooting-intense areas, USFS has sought to intentionally push shooters into less appropriate areas.
3) USFS routinely accommodates far more destructive uses of public land, e.g. off road motorcycling and 4-wheeling, mountain biking and equestrian sports. Let's be honest here...I despise slob shooters as much as anyone, but the total acreage of public land damaged by shooting is minuscule when compared to other destructive usage...and I am speaking here from EXPERIENCE. USFS is perfectly willing to accommodate all uses of public land EXCEPT shooting.
4) USFS has said in public testimony that they did not now have the resources to enforce the anti-dumping laws on the books. Under my questioning USFS revealed that they had NEVER fined ANYONE for illegal dumping on public lands, even though I was able to find more than 100 non-permitted dumpers in the area. USFS' contention that shooters are doing all the dumping is nonsense. And if USFS is unwilling or unable to enforce the stringent laws against illegal dumping, why do they want shooting bans so fervently?
5) Much is made of the single negligent discharge death at Ramparts, in which the range played no part whatsoever and that resulted in the closing of the range,, yet USFS routinely supports outdoor activities that result in annual deaths — skiing, kayaking, rafting, climbing, "extreme" hiking,even equestrian sports and mountain biking.
6) USFS has no data to support any of their antishooting agenda. In public testimony USFS representatives have been less than truthful to the Colorado Legislature, the Colorado Legislative delegation and the media. USFS has actually posted signs at shooting areas that misstate the law,, even though USFS Washington HQ issued a letter of clarification. Secondly, in our most recent battle with USFS antigun forces, no one who allegedly had "heard" bullets hit their home, trees, etc. were able to produce a single bullet hole, a photo or video of a bullet hole or any evidence whatsoever. The current article in the Colorado Springs paper was apparently driven by a "reporter" who allegedly had a bullet hit a tree while he was hiking.. Except, that he based it all on what he heard...he never even looked for a bullet hole.
Make no mistake about this...part of USFS' antigun agenda is to endlessly hammer the "destructive" meme and to turn us against each other.. Let's not play into their hands!