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We had a meeting with AZ-BLM today concerning recreational desert shooting. Our goals:
#1 reopen portions of BLM land to recreational desert shooting and leave existing areas open.
#2 make current BLM ranges safer.
#3 improve the existing BLM ranges for desert shooters.

We have convinced BLM that the design of their current ranges are not conducive to those that build firearms and test them in the desert, reload and want to test accuracy on paper, and/or chronograph their loads, mount optics or irons and want to sight-in, run practice drills or draw from holsters, run timed drills, shoot calibers like .338 Lapua or .50BMG with huge muzzle breaks, recover your brass for high end cartridges, etc.

What BLM agreed to was to accept recommendations from real shooters who want more than what indoor ranges and Ben Avery have to offer. They will give feedback on how they can address our recommendations, not like the perfunctory public meeting they had before building current BLM ranges.

What BLM hopes to gain out of this:
#1 Recommendations to improve safety on current ranges
#2 Improve current ranges to better serve desert shooters
#3 Methods to address the trash that casual desert shooters leave behind after shooting up a microwave, a big-screen TV, or glass that causes brush fires. Without methods to control trashing the desert, the march to close shooting on public lands will continue.

The approach, is to have a round table discussion on how best to address:
#1 What we need and want as shooters
#2 Can BLM meet our desires in constructed ranges
#3 How to police the idiots that are destroying open desert, causing more closures.

Planning is already in process for "Table Mesa recreation area".

If you are interested in participating in a roundtable discussion to help, send a message with your contact information. The date has not been set, the location will be a room at the BLM office 2020 E Bell Road, no personal information will be shared with BLM unless the group decides they want their contact info shared.

To bad that is only the Phoenix District Office.
We southerners have an office in Tuscon.

I have not dealt with the FEDs in a long time, seems like this is a state wide issue not just an issue for the Phoenix office.
To bad that is only the Phoenix District Office.
We southerners have an office in Tuscon.

I have not dealt with the FEDs in a long time, seems like this is a state wide issue not just an issue for the Phoenix office.
They are saying this is an "experiment" and a "prototype" for the entire country. If you could get some folks down in Tucson interested we might be able to get the office up here to allow a remote meeting from a conference room at the BLM office down there. This whole thing is in its infancy so I'm not sure what is possible. All I know is they said they would listen, that's a start.
Listening is always a good thing. I got involved with a group that convinced game and fish to not shoot the lions on Mt. Lemon after they introduced the Big Horns again. The liberals were having kittens that the lions were having mutton dinners. Yes the new sheep were not wary of the lions when they were introduced. DUH these sheep had never had seen a predator like that.
The whole issue is forgotten except for people like me who feel we do not know enough to modify nature effectively. Any thing man does screws up something else. IMO.

Talk away with them, I will contact some of the people I know and see if there is any interest in presenting a united front to a bunch of bureaucrats.
There has to be more than a few people who are willing to speak up.
I'm frankly shocked and saddened. With tens of thousands of members between this board and three other, local to AZ firearm, boards so far only 4 people have replied to offer help. The 4 includes Belevolk from Tucson who is too far away to attend but will assist.

It seems shooters are happy to come to forums and bubblegum about everything Liberal or ATF but not willing to take an active stance against them. It's even more unfortunate on a couple of the other forums where there is ample chest pounding about, "from my cold dead hands" but they won't use the same energy to bring forth ideas.

Well, I've had a good run for many years and will continue until it becomes illegal.
I have contacted shooters I know in the Phoenix area and so far every one (all retired) have to much on their calendars to raise a voice. I am disappointed. I am on round 2 to convince them that this is an opportunity which should not be ignored.
Would help to have one Federal agency on board to the concept that guns are not the problem. Or the problem can be managed using intelligence.

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Agreed and from our discussions, it seems like BLM would like to close the entire outdoors to shooting with the exception of designated ranges that they build. Unfortunately the usage is very restrictive, no crossing the firing line for any reason, so no Chrono, no paper targets to sight in, no targets for drills, no reactive targets, no choice of range, you get what they give you, extremely limited pistol slots, only 5 here out of three ranges, forced to shoot cross range at long distances, which is not unsafe but witnessed almost a fight over "you're shooting my target, nobody to control who is next to you pelting you with brass, witnessed a carload of punks, with MJ smoke coming out of their vehicle when the arrived, walk up to the line behind shooters with a loaded Minin-Draco and do a belt-loop full auto mag dump, causing 2 families to leave.

These ranges are good for the guy who just went out and bought a Glock or first AR and want to go bang.
I liked Usery Pass when I lived in the Valley. I lived on the East side and Tempe. Ben Avery was a ordeal to get to and I did not care for the draconian nonsense for the long distance shooting I did. Even during organized matches the range people were always getting in the way of how we liked to do things. So I stopped visiting out there and kept my cannons at home.
Here in Tucson they get real squirrelly over 100 yards even if they have the range available.

I am real old fashioned when it comes to guns and any mind altering substances. The two do not mix at all. I drink, and I like my Jameson's
but I do not drink and drive nor operate my cannons when I have been or going to drink. Must be that Army officer teaching called my father. I was 10 when I got my first .22 shooting rats with "shorts" for rodent control. Dad hated vermin and Mom's cats would not take on the army rodents we had on the farm. A simpler time.
Apologies for picking this up late. I'm interested in meeting with anyone discussing outdoor shooting. While I'm in Tucson, I don't mind visiting the Phoenix area once in a while. I believe it is important to expand our ability to shoot safely outdoors. I travel a bit so my schedule isn't the easiest. July is clear for the moment.

Along with already stated objectives, I would add discussing guidelines for ceasefires sessions.
Right now I won't shoot without a buddy and a pair of walkies.

Personally, I plan to take a drone for using as a target camera the next time out. I know national parks are prohibiting drones. I would hate for that to spread to BLM land. No that isn't relevant for everyone, but an example of things to discuss.
W T, send me your mobile number and an email address. We haven't scheduled the meeting yet so it could be at a convenient time for you to come up. Another possibility could be a remote site in Tucson. We have another shooter from another forum who is down in Tucson talking to other shooters down there. If there is enough interest, we might be able to have BLM set up a conference room down there and remote in to the meeting up here.
Bill, we plan to have a moderator so just a body doesn't help but, enumerating the reasons we don't go to Ben Abery and why we want to shoot in the desert under our control, is greatly helpful. If you can make it and speak about that, that is what we need. Shoot me a message and let me know.

Bill, we plan to have a moderator so just a body doesn't help but, enumerating the reasons we don't go to Ben Abery and why we want to shoot in the desert under our control, is greatly helpful. If you can make it and speak about that, that is what we need. Shoot me a message and let me know.

I don't enjoy your meeting but I will do it
When I sat on the board that oversees the Flagstaff AZGFD range, it was very difficult to get any traction with ANY agency regarding modern shooting techniques and range design. Trying to convince them that ranges have evolved, and shooters want options was a tough sell to even a pro-shooter bunch like Game and Fish. There is a lot of inertia in the gov.
I wish I had the time to help, but maybe you can contact the Northern Arizona Shooting Foundation for some advice/help.

Just an FYI; due to my involvement with BLM about the current 3 ranges, I was invited as one of two people to represent shooters for the next area they will close and build recreational ranges, Table Mesa Road. During the meeting, they asked for comment about the existing ranges and specifically asked me since I said I had been to all of them. I said they are nice ranges but fail miserably at meeting the needs and desires of recreational desert shooters. The other person representing shooters was the person who was in charge of all AZGF ranges in AZ, he said "Tony is right". He participated in the original design and the design had changed several times with changes in BLM management. What was ultimately built has no resemblance to what was planned.

Now our problem becomes even worse, the Biden admin has directed BLM to give priority in all their planning to the ecology. Depositing lead or any other metals into the ground and nitrates into the air, will get pushed way to the bottom of their priority list, if not pushed under the bottom of the garbage can.

Yeah we all need help. Any contacts you can make up North with BLM or Forest service will help. If BLM succeeds, Forest Service will follow.
We have to get Biden out of the white house

The lead in the ground seems manageable to me. The shot yards here in Tucson have a machine that picks up the shot from the ground which they clean some what and sell back as used shot.

Nitrates in the air seems a bit of a reach. Not like a lot of people go to the range and send 20k rounds down range in a hour or two.

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I'm happy to report that we have a total of 17 people who are interested in attending and participating in a meeting to:

- Comment on issues involving the current BLM shooting ranges on the West side
- Reopening of desert shooting areas

The goal is to create a list of items that the BLM can improve on their current ranges and a list of how/why the current ranges cannot meet the desires of recreational desert shooters.

We have no guarantee that anything will come of this but comments from Me & RJ got three shooting benches installed at Church Camp, and ground-cover fuel cleared at Baldy Mountain. Our hope is that diverse input from this meeting will get results from BLM.

There is still time to get in and participate.

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