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BLM seeks public input on target shooting management alternatives

1/4/17

PHOENIX – The Bureau of Land Management Phoenix District Office is seeking public input on recreational target shooting management alternatives for the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

The BLM has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment, which kicks off a 90-day public comment period. The BLM is collecting public input before moving forward in the decision making process.

Under a March 2015 federal court order, BLM was required to reanalyze the impacts of recreational target shooting on the Monument. Based on public comments and suggestions received during the scoping process earlier this year, the BLM has developed a range of alternatives. The Draft EIS and Draft RMP amendment analyze the impacts of each alternative.

“Public input is very important to our decision making process,” said David Scarbrough, Sonoran Desert National Monument manager. “New information, suggestions for improved or new alternatives, and comments pertaining to the accuracy of assumptions and information presented in the draft planning amendment and environmental impact statement are especially helpful.”

Following the public comment period, the BLM will consider all of the input and begin work to finalize the RMP Amendment and EIS. At that point, a management alternative will be selected that meets the intent of the Monument’s proclamation and best balances the environmental impacts with the desired use of the land. Potential options include allowing recreational target shooting, disallowing it, or allowing it with potential restrictions.

In order for comments to be included in the analysis, all comments must be received prior to the close of the 90-day comment period on March 15. Additionally, three public information meetings will be held in January, with dates and locations to be publicized at least 15 days in advance.

Written comments may be mailed to the BLM’s project manager, Wayne Monger, at 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027.  Comments may also be faxed to (623) 580-5623, or emailed to BLM_AZ_SDNMtargetshooting@BLM.gov.