BLM proposes revamp of shooting areas on public lands in Santa Fe County


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Taos Field Office

Media Contact:

In order to ensure the safety of visitors to public lands and reduce urban interface and user conflicts adjacent to private lands and public trails, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Taos Field Office proposes to close three areas to recreational shooting and develop shooting ranges on public lands in the Santa Fe area. The BLM is collaborating with Santa Fe County, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe National Forest, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider options for resolving existing conflicts and providing for the enjoyment of public lands by all users, including those seeking safe opportunities for target shooting.  

The project proposes restoring the currently used, but undeveloped shooting locations by planting vegetation and removing the accumulation of lead waste. With the relocation of shooting to developed ranges, the BLM also proposes to apply one-mile buffers along certain existing roads where recreational shooting would be prohibited.  

The BLM will analyze the proposed project in an environmental assessment in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which provides for public involvement. 

Today, the BLM published a notice in the Federal Register announcing its intent to amend the Taos Resource Management plan and apply the one-mile road buffer that would close certain public lands to recreational shooting. The notice also announces a 60-day public scoping period during which the public can provide input on the proposals to be considered during the preparation of the environmental assessment.   

The public may submit input on the proposed project until Oct. 24, 2022. Comments on the proposal may be submitted by the following:  

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.  

For more information on the NEPA process, please contact Project Manager Brad Higdon at the Taos Field Office at (575) 751-4725 or

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.