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Release Date: 11/20/13
Contacts: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399    

BLM Begins Temporary Shooting Closure at Hartman Rocks (11-20-13)

GUNNISON, Colo. – Due to safety considerations and following a public process, the Bureau of Land Management Gunnison Field Office is temporarily closing an area in the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area to recreational target shooting.  The temporary closure will help protect persons, property and public lands until shooting issues are fully analyzed and considered through a Resource Management Plan amendment, a period not expected to exceed two years. 
Legal and lawful hunting will still be allowed within the temporary closure area (approximately 4,300 acres).  Additionally, recreational and target shooting will still be allowed throughout the broader landscape managed by the BLM Gunnison Field Office (an area in excess of 600,000 acres).
The BLM took today’s action because the specific area is unsafe for target shooting due to a large number of visitors using roads and trails in close proximity to the shooting areas.  Increasing recreation use at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area have highlighted significant conflicts with dispersed shooting.  Estimates indicate Hartman Rocks receives 40,000 user days per year, and that number is expected to climb in the future due to population growth and increased publicity of the area’s outstanding recreational values. 
The BLM is developing a recreation area management plan for Hartman Rocks, which will analyze management alternatives, including permanently closing portions of Hartman Rocks to recreational and target shooting, through an environmental assessment and potential land use plan amendment. Over the past three years, public meetings demonstrated broad support for the closure from local law enforcement, recreationists and hunters, including Federal Lands Hunting, Fishing and Shooting Sports Roundtable, the Hartman Rocks User Group and the local Sportsmen’s Club.
The BLM is also working in partnership with the Gunnison County Sherriff to identify safe alternative locations for shooting sports.
The current management plan allows for dispersed shooting directly adjacent to the west and south of the proposed temporary closure area. Areas immediately outside of the proposed temporary closure area offer room for: multiple parties to shoot, long lines of sight with natural backstops, no interference with open roads or trails, sites that are better suited to management controls (i.e. vehicle barriers, adequate parking) and increased public safety.
The public will have additional opportunities to participate in the planning process as the Gunnison Field Office addresses public safety issues and resource management within the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area Management Plan.
For more information and a map of the area, go to or call the Gunnison Field Office at 970-642-4940. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 11-20-2013