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Date:  May 1, 2008
Contact:  Marilyn Krause  (406) 533-7617     

BLM Seeks Public Input on Shooting Safety Zone for North Hills Area

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input on a proposal to create a shooting safety zone for an area in the North Hills recreation area located about six miles northeast of Helena.

The proposal calls for a no shooting safety zone for all of Section 34 in Township 12 North, Range 3 West. The no shooting zone would establish a year-long recreational shooting restriction for section 34, but would allow the discharge of fire arms during Montana’s big game season for the purpose of big game hunting. All BLM lands outside of section 34 would continue to remain open yearlong to recreational firearms use. The proposal would affect 640 acres of the 4,707 acre area.

To identify issues and concerns, BLM is hosting a public meeting on May 29, 7 p.m., at the conference room of the Montana Association of Counties (MACO) building at 2715 Skyway Drive in Helena.

For a map or additional information, please contact Pat Zurcher, project lead, at the BLM, Butte Field Office, 533-7638 or by email at pzurcher@blm.gov.

The proposed action was developed through the efforts of a community based working group, established by BLM’s Western Montana Resource Advisory Council (RAC). The sub-group was formed after BLM received complaints from recreationists and adjacent landowners who voiced concerns related to unsafe shooting practices in the area of Section 34. The user created shooting areas in that area were either too close to the road and without a safe line of fire.