Public Safety Concerns Close McKenzie Storage Area to Shooting

Release Date: May 30, 2018

For Release: May 29, 2018

Contact: Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, 541-383-5561

 

Public Safety Concerns Close Area to Shooting

McKenzie Storage Area near Crossroads Subdivision to be closed

 

Sisters, Ore. – Beginning this week, the Sisters Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest will close an area adjacent to the Crossroads Subdivision to shooting due to significant public safety issues.

The McKenzie storage area, located west of Crossroads Subdivision near Sisters off of Forest Service Road 400, will be closed to shooting because it is within range of a stray bullet hitting a person in the nearby subdivision and recreational trail. Over the last several years complaints about irresponsible target shooting in the area and reports of close calls from stray bullets have come into to the Sisters Ranger District.

Both Forest Service and Deschutes County Sheriff law enforcement officers have reviewed the site and have concluded that the site is unsuitable for safe target shooting for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it lacks an adequate backstop for bullets and the potential for stray bullets is high.

The closure of the site comes after efforts to educate shooters and ask for voluntary change have not addressed the significant public safety hazards created by continued unsafe shooting practices at the site.

There are material pits within a few miles of the McKenzie storage area with adequate backdrops for shooting that do not create a public safety hazard.

Following the closure of the McKenzie storage area to shooting the District Ranger will begin a public process to assess target shooting needs on national forest lands and implement any potential changes.

The majority of the Deschutes National Forest is open to the public for target shooting as long as people follow safe shooting practices. Safe shooting practices on the National Forest information can be found at this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/deschutes/learning/safety-ethics

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD582084