Target shooting decision for Sonoran Desert National Monument available online


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Arizona State Office

Media Contact:

Media Contact: Adam Eggers

PHOENIX – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has posted online its Record of Decision (ROD) for a Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment that addresses recreational target shooting on the Sonoran Desert National Monument (SDNM). The decision will maintain sportsmen’s access while also ensuring public safety and resource protection. 

The ROD/RMP Amendment represents the culmination of a comprehensive planning process that integrated extensive public input and updated environmental analysis. Under the decision, 90 percent of the SDNM will remain open to target shooting, with shooting restricted to ensure public safety in the most heavily visited portion of the Monument-- the Juan Batista de Anza Recreation Management Zone (RMZ).

The ROD/RMP Amendment also ensures appropriate resource protection by providing an adaptive management framework for addressing target shooting impacts in areas where shooting is allowed. The plan includes mitigation measures for monitoring and managing cumulative impacts.

“We listened closely to our many stakeholders throughout the planning process and utilized updated data for analysis, resulting in a decision that supports the Bureau’s effort to balance public use with our mandate to protect Monument objects,” said Leon Thomas, BLM’s Phoenix District Manager. “Our plan amendment also ensures safety for families in the most heavily used area of the Monument.”

Under a March 2015 Federal court order, the BLM was required to reanalyze the impacts of recreational target shooting on the SDNM. The ROD/RMP Amendment is based on public input and on analysis of the impacts of five different alternatives, ranging from making the entire monument available for target shooting to making the entire monument unavailable for target shooting.  The selected alternative in the ROD is a modification of the Agency Preferred Alternative identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed RMP Amendment, which was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 20, 2017.

The ROD/RMP Amendment can be viewed online at:

Printed copies are also available for review at Lower Sonoran Field Office, 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85027

A Notice of Availability of this ROD/RMPA will be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 20.



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.