Here is another reminder of why we need to practice responsible target practice on public lands every time we go out. Target shooting activity must be held in the highest regards for public safety, respect for other recreational users, stewardship of our public property and care for our natural resources. Those who shoot without a earthen berm backstop, shoot near or over trails and roadways, hang their targets on trees, stumps and logs, and leave their trash behind, must be stopped and corrected! Target shooting is a serious form of recreation and must be treated with the utmost respect.
You could see this coming a mile away! Unsafe places to shoot and a few unsafe shooters have caused a two year closure of 50 acres in the Anderson Butte area. Within this 50 acres are 11 shooting sites. The effective closure dates will be announced soon (meanwhile, do bother to go target shooting in that area). The area is located on BLM-administered lands southwest of Medford, Oregon, east of Sterling Creek Road and northwest of Little Applegate Road, in Jackson County, Oregon.
The reasons for the closure are sited as increasing pressures of forest visitors and population increases that have resulted in a number of public safety issues and recreational user conflicts from public land visitors participating in a variety of recreational target shooting activities. There have been reported instances of these activities resulting in bullets hitting nearby private residences, other private property and bullets passing over hikers heads while on designated Bureau of Land Management (BLM) trails.
Two public comment periods were held, following an Environmental Assessment study, and a Federal Register Notice which advertised the proposed restrictions to recreation target shooting was announced. Over the two public comment periods the BLM received approximately 88 comment which were considered in this decision. Many commenters described intense personal experiences from situations involving target shooting in the Anderson Butte area.