Friday, July 01, 2011

U.S. Forest Service Redux

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!

27 comments:

Darrell said...

Roger that, will do.

I'm not so sure about the NFS being so willing to support other (non-shooter) activities. The local astronomy club held their annual summer star party on NFS land up near the Wilkerson Pass/Tarryall area for many years. The NFS became more and more difficult to deal with the last few years, to the point that the club finally gave up and bought their own property for dark sky viewing, down west of Walsenburg.

boomerstan said...

The same paper (Gazette) that published that article also published this editorial http://www.gazette.com/articles/forest-120154-gun-guns.html

kmitch200 said...

Thank you Michael for keeping the heat on them. Great post!

Thanks for the editorial link Boomer.

Don't forget, the BLM is closing perfectly fine shooting areas in AZ as fast as they can.
Ride a quad or motorcycle all you want, but shoot? NO!

It's all bullshit coming from various bureaucracy's that hate guns, shooting and shooters.
I don't know anyone that likes or condones slob shooters. If the FS or BLM doesn't want holes in the dumped washing machine, stop the dumping!

Anonymous said...

Sara Brady bragged Obummer told her he was working behind the scenes. Could be his doings, at least in part. the mushroom

Anonymous said...

Here in KY F&W have installed ranges over the years on the Weed Management Areas (aka WMA's). I think the written goal is to have a range within a half days drive anywhere in the state. Problem is, the range closest to me sucks. No clay target facility and the range itself is 100 yards. Glad I'm a member of a club with real faciliies.

Kansas Scout said...

ARF.com is what? I find an animal adoption page?

kmitch200 said...

http://www.ar15.com/forums/

The shrine to mall ninjas. ;)

Farmer Mark said...

This just in from Denver Post:
http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_18400499

A good test, for the NFS. Just have to wait and see.

nj_larry said...

Happy Independence Day !

I can heartily recommend reading on this day the document that the founders wrote. It is an amazing bit of writing. A half dozen quotes that just are brilliant phrasing and cut right to your soul. That resonant just as much today as back 235 years ago.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Kristopher said...

The NFS has closed the Laramie District of The Medicine Bow NF in Wyoming to all recreational shooting during non-hunting months.

Big signs everywhere. Only excuse on the sign is that recreational shooting is incompatible with ALL other uses.

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chris said...

They closed the range at Uwharrie here in NC after someone one one of the horse trails had a ND and hit one of his buddies in the back. The range was not even involved.

Indrid Cold said...

The NFS announced they are going to close the Tinkham Pit off I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass in WA, in 2012. It's a remote area, and there are miles and miles of other FS roads all over the area (and most of WA for that matter). Volunteers from various gun clubs clean and maintain it from time to time. Michael, could you post on your blog (or on downrange.tv) how to deal with the FS, and in particular how to apply political pressure? There are gun enthusiasts all over the country who are facing the same situation with the FS but we lack the strategic knowledge on how to effectively preserve these resources and our right to use them from government encroachment.

Hobie said...

Why would you care what's on AR15.com? The majority of active topics cover teenage angst topics, their libidos, phone scams, auto repairs... jeez it took me a while to find a shooting subject.

My dad worked for the USFS and they certainly have changed over the past 56 years. When I was a kid dad's co-workers were all farm kids and/or shooters/hunters, campers, fishermen, and had a life-long familiarity with the natural world BEFORE working for the USFS. I suppose this disconnection from reality is to be expected when you start your life living in a high-rise in a big city.

Darrell said...

Hobie said...
Why would you care what's on AR15.com? The majority of active topics cover teenage angst topics, their libidos, phone scams, auto repairs... jeez it took me a while to find a shooting subject.

The subject matter was in a Colorado Hometown forum thread, people are concerned about losing their right/ability to shoot on government land (which is OUR land, of course). If you go places other than General Discussion at arfcom, there is a lot of useful information.

A lot of people dislike arfcom... for the Colorado shooters, some go to co-ar15.com. It's a bit more serious.

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