Proposed Permanent Closure to Recreational Shooting, Huachuca Mountains, Wildland-Urban Interface #NP-2890

Commenting on This Project

The Coronado National Forest (CNF), Sierra Vista Ranger District, is proposing to issue a permanent closure order that will prohibit recreational shooting in the canyons located along the eastern side of the Huachuca Mountains, within the wildland-urban interface. The proposed closure area is in close proximity to a number of densely populated communities including Sierra Vista, Hereford, and Palominas. These communities include private land, homes, businesses, and multiple other structures. Recreational shooting in this area poses an extreme risk to public health and safety, to include the increased risk of wildfire from ricocheting ammunition. Recreational shooting in this area has also generated numerous conflicts between and among forest users and private landowners and has created unacceptable damage to natural resources. The proposed closure area would extend one quarter mile off both sides of National Forest System roads occurring within Ash, Lutz, Stump, Hunter, Miller, Carr, and Brown Canyons. This approach mirrors previous temporary closures which have proven successful in mitigating risk to the recreating public on the forest and to adjacent private landowners. With the permanent closure in place, approximately 98.3% of the Sierra Vista Ranger District would remain available and open to recreational shooting, consistent with the federal and state recreational shooting laws and regulations. Hunting with a valid state permit in all east side canyons would still be allowed. The proposed size of the closure area has been limited to the minimum size necessary to meet the objective of protecting public health and safety. The proposal is being considered under the process outlined in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019, and the Forest Service directives in the Law Enforcement and Investigations Handbook 5309.11, Chapter 30. The CNF is requesting comments within the 60-day comment period starting September 17, 2021 and ending November 16, 2021. The agency’s preference is that comments be submitted electronically through the Comment and Analysis Response Application (CARA): https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=NP-2890. However, written comments can be sent to Celeste Kinsey, District Ranger, Sierra Vista Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, 4070 S. Avenida Saracino, Hereford, AZ 85615. Additional information can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/regulations-policies.

The Forest Service values public participation. Communications from the public regarding this project, including commenters' names and contact information, will become part of the public record. Comments, including anonymous comments, will be accepted at any time. However, comments posted after the close of a designated comment period may not be able to be given full consideration.

Your comments are requested by 11/16/2021.

Documents



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