On Saturday, August 15th, 2020, target shooting was temporarily closed in all Washington State managed Forests, due to potential fire hazardous conditions. One week later I visit the Yacolt Burn State Forest and I wonder... Where have all the shooters gone?
When target shooting is open, there are lots of people out enjoying the great outdoors and recreating in the shooting sports. But when it's closed, shooters disappear. Why? Why not be out in the woods and pick up a different kind of recreation?
I mean the kind of recreation that shows our respect for recreational shooting on public lands. It's called 'Maintenance'. Clean up your local forest and show some responsibility for being a property owner who has a stake in our public land playgrounds.
When it's closed, it's payback time! This is a perfect time and opportunity to go out and show some good old fashion stewardship. Your presents is needed in our forests throughout the Northwest! Don't disappear now!
Honestly, we look pretty bad. The volume of trash in the forest is mostly at sites where target shooting happens. This should not be so! Sure, some of it is dumping, but when it's full of bullet holes, it reeks of irresponsible target shooting. Even if you didn't bring it, you sign our name to it when you shoot it.
With the recent increase in firearms sales, there are a lot more people in the woods learning how their new tools work and becoming more proficient in the shooting sports. For many, this is their first time owning a firearm and their first time shooting in the woods. Many of them are unaware of the rules for target practice. It also seems that they must think; 'There are people who clean it up', so they leave it all behind. WRONG! Each person who recreates in the forest is responsible for removing their own trash and is also responsible for knowing the rules for their kind of recreation.
This was my 6 hours of recreation today. No fun when you go out to enjoy a day off in the woods and see the volume of trash. I couldn't just pass by and pretend I didn't see it. And all that time, going from shooting site to shooting site, I didn't see one other person doing anything about it. Where did you all go?
We've got to clean up our act, if we are to keep recreational sport shooting open on public lands. Show some respect for the shooting sports, for the forest and for other forest visitors, by doing your part to give back for the good of recreation.
Commit Random Acts Of Cleanups!!!