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BLM wants to know: Close eastern Lake Mountains to target shooting?

By Cathy Allred daily Herald - | May 4, 2016

East Lake Mountain is going to become safer for recreationists by 2017.

A partnership of the Bureau of Land Management, Utah County, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and private parties have nearly completed the long process to close east Lake Mountain to target shooting and, at the same time, create a large shooting range farther south in a more rural setting.

The groundbreaking for the shooting range is on Monday at 11 a.m. off of State Route 68 at mile marker 16 and up Soldier Pass Road.

Both Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee and the county public relations manager, Mike Stansfield, are excited about the announcement and the event.

“Actually we’re going to have a cannon there. That will be fun,” Stansfield said. “It’s taken about 2 years. It’s really been a long project.”

There will be a large grader at the event, the sheriff’s office is bringing its big vehicles, canopies for shade will be brought and erected, Lee said.

Along with the groundbreaking, there will be a “first shot” ceremony.

The BLM has given 150 acres of property to the county so it can build the range on approximately 40 of those acres. SITLA is also closing several of its properties near the range.

Undisciplined shooting in the Lake Mountains area created the need for a more rural and safer location. One result of the partnership was the public shooting range project, the other was a process to permanently close target shooting on the east side of Lake Mountain.

The area has been temporarily closed for several years and the BLM must either make a permanent closure or let the temporary closure lapse and let target shooting be allowed once again.

The BLM will need to amend its Pony Express Resource Management Plan for long-term management of target shooting within the area to close the area permanently.

“This is the next step in the process in studying the environmental impact of closing the target shooting on east Lake Mountain,” said Michael A. Nelson, acting BLM field office manager.

The Environmental Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact studies have been completed and can be found online.

The impact reports will also be available for study at Wednesday’s upcoming open house.

“We just recently released the study draft, so this is a public meeting to provide comment on the draft environmental assessment,” Nelson said. “They can come to the meeting and leave public comment or they can speak with a specialist or by email.”

The window of opportunity to comment is rapidly closing, although the deadline has been extended from its original May 16 date. There are several options available to give comment before the deadline on May 31 at 4 p.m. by email, online register, mail or at the open house.

BLM staff must determine whether to close the Lake Mountains area to target shooting partially, 893 acres; to close the entire 3,450 acres, or reopen the area to target shooting.

“BLM land will be closed to target shooting only, not ATV recreation, horseback riding, biking, hiking, even hunting. It will just be closed to target shooting,” Lee said.

Suggested changes, sources, or methodologies and reference to a specific section or page number, are the most helpful comments, Nelson said.

Shooting range groundbreaking

Monday, May 9 at 11 a.m.

State Route 68 at Mile Marker 16 on Cedar Pass Road

BLM open house

Wednesday, May 11 from 6-8 p.m.

Talons Cove Golf Club Reception Room

2220 S. Talons Cove Drive, Saratoga Springs

How to submit comments

Mail

BLM – Salt Lake Field Office

Attention: Eastern Lake Mountains Target Shooting Plan Amendment

2370 South Decker Lake Boulevard

West Valley City, Utah 84119

Online

Review the documents at https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office, enlarge the United States interactive map until you can see Utah State, then enlarge to see Utah Lake and a map marker with a 3. Click on the map marker to open three sites and choose the triangle between Lake Mountain and Utah Lake, click on and go to the link for “Eastern Lake Mountains Target Shooting Plan Amendment” and leave your comments at the same site.

Fax

(801) 977-4397

Attention: Eastern Lake Mountains Target Shooting Plan Amendment

Email

blm_ut_sl_comments@blm.gov

Subject: Eastern Lake Mountains Target Shooting Plan Amendment

 

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