The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) lifted the emergency fire restriction area-wide shooting closure and replaced it with a temporary emergency one-year shooting closure just for Lovell Canyon.
Effective Thursday, the closure was put into place in the area to address public health and safety concerns, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The closure includes around 32,000 acres on both sides of 4553 Lovell Canyon Road.
This interim emergency order enables the Forest Service to address issues occurring in Lovell Canyon related to irresponsible shooting activities.
The unsafe activities create serious safety issues for the public visitors and private landowners, and have resulted in harm to the area’s natural resources. Issues created by the activities include shooting near and across roads, trails, and occupied areas; types of targets used, including trees and exploding targets; and the amount of trash left behind.
“Most forest users recreate responsibly on National Forest System (NFS) lands,” said Donn Christiansen, SMNRA area manager. “However, a small group of the public is engaging in inappropriate recreational activities, including irresponsible shooting. These activities are most prevalent in the Lovell Canyon area.”
During the temporary emergency shooting closure, the Forest Service will work collaboratively with the public, Clark County, and various other organizations to implement changes in Lovell Canyon.
The temporary emergency closure will also ensure the safety of SMNRA employees and volunteers as they work to restore the canyon back to its natural healthy state.
“Shooting is an appropriate use of public land when done in a responsible manner and in areas where it can be enjoyed safely,” Christiansen said. “Any emergency shooting restrictions put in place on the SMNRA are for the safety of the public and to protect natural resources. These restrictions will not prevent licensed hunters from hunting in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, and limit a person’s ability to carry or possess a legal firearm.”
Christiansen added that if the Forest Service determines year-round shooting restrictions or other actions are needed, the agency will use a public process to find areas where shooting would be appropriate.
An education campaign increasing awareness of proper shooting practices and responsible recreation will be used during the temporary emergency shooting closure.
The collaborative effort features the SMNRA partnering with “Tread Lightly” through the Forest Service’s national “Respected Access is Open Access” campaign. The education campaign will also include public meetings and reaching out to local shooting user groups.
For anyone who would like to help with the cleanup efforts in Lovell Canyon, the first cleanup is scheduled for Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For questions about the temporary emergency one-year shooting closure, contact Donn Christiansen, at email@example.com.
For more information on responsible shooting tips visit https://www.treadlightly.org.
Contact reporter Mick Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.