Forest Service Seeks Comments on Clay County Shooting Range Environmental Analysis

Release Date: Aug 24, 2012

Contact(s): Stevin Westcott, (828) 257-4215

MURPHY, N.C. – The USDA Forest Service today announced that it is seeking written comments on an environmental analysis (EA) of a proposal to construct a shooting range on the Nantahala National Forest in Clay County. The “Clay County Shooting Range” EA is posted on the National Forests in North Carolina website at, click on “Land & Resources Management,” then “Projects.”

An EA for this project was first released to the public in 2010. Additional analyses have since been completed, and the Forest Service is again requesting comments on the proposal.

This project addresses a request that the Nantahala National Forest authorize the construction of a shooting range at one of two locations on national forest lands east of the town of Hayesville, N.C.  If approved, this decision would allow The Clay County Sports Club, at their expense, to construct a recreational shooting facility. The facility would be open to the public, with title to the target range improvements, along with revenues generated by user fees, remaining with the government.

If the Forest Service decides to grant the request, approximately three to five acres at one of the two sites would be developed as a recreational shooting range. The land would be cleared of vegetation, and the terrain reshaped with heavy equipment to create five to eight shooting lanes and clean soil backstops. Roads accessing the site would be improved to accommodate vehicular traffic. The facility would include covered shooting stations, sign boards and a portable restroom facility.

If you wish to comment on the project, please make comments as specific as possible. You must provide the following information: (1) your name and address; (2) title of the proposed action; (3) specific substantive comments on the proposed action, along with supporting reasons that the Forest Service should consider in reaching a decision; and (4) your signature or other means of identification verification. 

All comments must be received within 30 days beginning the day after publication of a legal notice in The Clay County Progress (approximately August 23rd). Following the comment period, the Forest Service will sign a decision for the project. The Forest Service has requested comments on this project in the past; however, only those commenting on the current EA will have legal standing to appeal.   

Comments may be submitted by mail to:  

Tusquitee Ranger District (Clay County Shooting Range)
Nantahala National Forest
123 Woodland Drive
Murphy, NC 28906


Comments may be submitted by email to:

For more information, contact Steverson Moffat at the Tusquitee Ranger District at (828) 837-5152 ext 108.