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Rawlins Field Office
Release Date: 05/21/14
Contacts: Shelley Gregory    

BLM Rawlins Promotes Responsible Recreational Shooting

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field Office is asking for the public’s help.

 Trigger Trash.
Shell and casing debris
left over from irresponsible
recreational shooting in Rogers Canyon.
 Trees and other targets trashed by indiscriminate shooting.
Trees and other targets trashed by indiscriminate shooting in Rogers Canyon.
Target shooting is a popular activity throughout the west and Wyoming has vast tracts of public land well-suited for it. However, even in seemingly pristine areas, there are spots with shot-up computers, televisions, glass bottles, washing machines, refrigerators or cars. A short distance away, a collection of shotgun shells and bullet casings half-buried in the ground can usually be found. Known as dumps, eyesores, a shame or trigger trash, they take away from the inherent beauty of the land and diminish our collective inheritance.

These shooting areas are usually opportunistic but some enthusiasts will lug out trash or unwanted appliances specifically for targets and then leave them behind. Cathode ray tubes from old television sets, shells and casings can release lead while oil, acid, chemicals and hazardous liquids, such as Freon or propane, from vehicles and appliances can leak into the soil and groundwater. Shards of glass from screens, bottles and windows may seem innocuous but are dangerous and plentiful. All are costly to clean-up and endanger our natural resources.

BLM Ranger Jeff Weisend suggests using clay pigeons, paper targets or cardboard boxes instead of appliances or vehicles. “After shooting, do a sweep and try to pick up your shells and casings and maybe a few left behind by others. Shooting is a fun activity that can have very little impact if done right.”

The Rawlins Field Office does not have any restrictions on recreational shooting but suggests that responsible shooters:

  • Access public lands via established roads and two-tracks.
  • Check with local authorities to make sure an area is open to shooting.
  • Find a safe backdrop, such as a mound or hill, since shots can travel for more than a mile across the open desert.
  • Know what is beyond the backdrop.
  • Avoid residences, buildings, campsites, occupied areas, recreational areas or livestock.
  • Shoot in broad daylight.
  • Avoid sensitive wildlife habitats.
  • Only use retrievable, freestanding targets.
  • Wear eye and ear protection.
  • Are not under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug.
  • Do not trespass across or on private lands.
  • Do not shoot across roads, trails or washes.
  • Do not shoot from parked or moving vehicles.
  • Do not attach targets to vegetation, rocks or solid objects.
  • Do not shoot signs, trees, cultural resources or structures.
  • Do not use incendiary or tracer ammunition.

Most BLM field offices can provide suggestions for and directions to unofficial shooting areas. In the Rawlins Field Office area, Sand Creek is a popular, established area for recreational shooting. To get to Sand Creek, head south on Highway 287 from Laramie, Wyo., turn right on County Rd. 22, continue to Mountain Cement Company and turn left onto Sand Creek Rd./County Rd. 34 and continue south six miles to the BLM section. There is also a private shooting range at 73 Rifle Range Rd in Laramie.

For more information, please call 307-328-4200 or visit

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.

Rawlins Field Office   1300 North Third Street      Rawlins, WY 82301  

Last updated: 05-21-2014