Recreational Target Shooting Prohibited after 6 years of advocacy

BLM issues long-awaited Final Resource Management Plan ending the destructive practice.

This is a significant change in the way this national treasure is protected and will improve visitor and volunteer safety like no other single action could. 

We are very pleased with this outcome and will be working with the Bureau of Land Management in whatever way we can to support this decision.

This final decision closes all Ironwood Forest National Monument lands to recreational shooting.

Today (Feb. 25, 2013) the

New signs inform visitors that recreational target shooting is no longer allowed.

New signs inform visitors that recreational target shooting is no longer allowed, January 2014.

Bureau of Land Management published the Record of Decision for the Final Resource Management Plan for the Ironwood Forest National Monument. It can be found at

Summary and Proposed Action from the Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plan:

The preferred management action in the Ironwood Forest National Monument (IFNM) Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) to prohibit target shooting in the monument generated a great deal of controversy and public interest. BLM received many comments both in favor of and against the prohibition. Due to the number of questions regarding the prohibition, and the high level of public interest surrounding it, BLM chose to re-examine the decision and go through a well-documented, methodological, and transparent analysis to determine if there are areas on the IFNM that could potentially support the continuation of target shooting into the future, given the management constraints, safety considerations, and protected status of the IFNM.


Of the 128,000 total BLM acres in the IFNM, 47,017 acres of BLM land were found to be within “potential shooting terrain” (see Map I-9). Of those 47,017 acres, 2,965 acres did not conflict (or overlap) with the 86,244 acres already eliminated from consideration, as identified above. These 2,965 acres are depicted on Map I-10, and were further scrutinized during on-site visits, as described in section 2 below. The remainder of the IFNM was not considered further in this analysis.

The entire site specific analysis is available here – IFNMRMPRecreationalShootingAnalysis

The Resource Management Plan and other information is available from the Bureau of Land Management through their web site


BLM’s target-shooting ban was wise

Fri Mar 15, 2013 Arizona Republic

As a fifth-generation rancher and sportsman in southern Arizona who grew up near Ironwood Forest National Monument, I appreciate the multiple uses of this special place. Almost daily, I hike, recreate, commute through or graze cattle in this area.

That’s why I and many others in my neck of the woods were so happy to see a balanced decision by the Bureau of Land Management recently in banning target shooting here.

I am a gun owner and hunter who supports target shooting in designated areas, as in shooting ranges.

While out looking for cattle, we have had too many close calls with stray bullets from target shooters who have no idea what, or who, is in the distance. We’ve also seen many of our signs and water tanks shot up for no reason.

The target-shooting ban represents not only a balanced decision on behalf of multiple uses, but it helps ensure the safety of all who visit the area. I’m glad to hear that the land managers have common sense.

Anyone opposing this decision has no idea what it’s like to have to duck stray bullets daily and clean up the mess left behind by target shooters.

– Jesus Arvizu, Marana