Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Input Can Shape Target-Shooting Policy For Sonoran Desert National Monument

BLM to conduct public meetings Jan. 19-21; comment deadline is March 15.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages the public, especially those interested in recreational target-shooting, to provide their input on management alternatives for the Sonoran Desert National Monument near Gila Bend.

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Phoenix District Office recently announced the release of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment that kicked off a 90-day public comment period. The BLM is collecting public input before moving forward in the decision-making process.

As part of the process, three public meetings have been scheduled:

Jan. 19: 5-8 p.m., BLM National Training Center, 9828 N. 31st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85051.

Jan. 20: 5-8 p.m., Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.

Jan. 21: Noon-4 p.m., Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center, 405 E. 6th St., Casa Grande, AZ 85122.

Written comments can be mailed to Wayne Monger, BLM's project manager, at: 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027. Comments also can be faxed to (623) 580-5623, or e-mailed to BLM_AZ_SDNMtargetshooting@BLM.gov. All comments must be received prior to the close of the 90-day public comment period March 15.

Under a March 2015 federal court order, the BLM was required to re-analyze the impacts of recreational target-shooting on the monument. A range of alternatives was developed based on public comments and suggestions received during the scoping process earlier this year. The draft EIS and RMP amendment analyze the impacts of each alternative. The RMP website is http://bit.ly/SDNMtargetshooting.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department recognizes the importance of protecting public access and enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities, including recreational target-shooting. In partnership with the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Tread Lightly!, Game and Fish is helping to keep Arizona's public lands healthy and open through the "Respected Access is Open Access in Arizona" campaign. For more information about the campaign, visit http://www.respectedaccessarizona.org.


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