Provo – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Salt Lake Field Office has published a notice of proposed conveyance of 160 acres of public lands to Utah County for the purpose of developing a public target shooting range near Highway 68 and Soldier Pass Road south of the city of Saratoga Springs.
Concerned with public safety and the prevention of wildfires caused by shooting in dry conditions, Utah County leaders under the direction of the Utah County Commission have worked for a number of years to determine a suitable location for a public target shooting range in the north end of the county. According to Utah County Commission Chair Larry Ellertson, “This action brings that vision a step closer in providing a good, safe place for people to participate in their sport in safety.”
The BLM temporarily closed 900 acres of its public lands in this area to shooting in 2012 because of safety concerns. The closure was renewed in 2014. “The temporary closure expires in December 2016,” according to Becky Hotsi and Mike Nelson, both part of BLM management.
The BLM wants to get public input on shooting firearms in the area and create an amendment for its 1990 Pony Express Resource Management Plan. The amendment is dubbed the Eastern Lake Mountains Target Shooting Plan Amendment.
The published notice of the proposed conveyance of public lands is a step forward and provides the public an opportunity to participate in the planning process.
The BLM-Utah Salt Lake Field Office announced the proposed determination in a notice of realty action available online in the Federal Register. The Salt Lake Field Office, acting under the provisions of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act, welcomes public comments on the proposed conveyance of public lands. Under the act, public lands can be made available to meet community needs for a variety of public purposes, including schools, parks, community centers and recreation. Those proposed facilities and land uses must be designed to provide services or facilities for the benefit of the public.
Additional information about the proposed project, including potential impacts associated with the conveying of these public lands, is included in the environmental assessment, which is available online for public review and comment at: https://www.blm.gov/ut/enbb/index.php; search for project name “Soldier Pass Shooting Range.” Hard copies can be obtained upon request from the Salt Lake Field Office at 2370 South Decker Lake Blvd., West Valley City, Utah, 84119.
Comments will be accepted until Aug. 28, 2015. The most useful comments according to the BLM are those that contain new technical or scientific information, identify issues relevant to the proposal, identify alternatives, or provide technical or scientific rationale for opinions or preferences. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response; however, they will be considered in the BLM decision-making process.
Please reference “Soldier Pass Shooting Range” when submitting comments. Written comments may be submitted by mail, email or fax using the following:
BLM-Utah Salt Lake Field Office
Attn: Pam Schuller
2370 South Decker Lake Blvd.
West Valley City, UT 84119
Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.
For additional project-specific information, please contact Planning and Environmental Coordinator Pam Schuller at 801-977-4377. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.
For Additional Information Contact:
Mike Stansfield 801-360-7400
Utah County Public Information