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I-90 forest corridor closing to target shooters for one year ... possibly permanently

Discussion in 'Outdoor Shooting Areas' started by Nexus7, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Nexus7

    Nexus7 Western WA New Member

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    This is an outrage.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Seattle Times

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    I-90 forest corridor closing to target shooters for one year

    By Jennifer Sullivan

    Seattle Times staff reporter

    Starting today, a popular swath of national forest land along the Interstate 90 corridor between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass will be closed to target shooters for one year, and possibly permanently.

    Closing forest lands where shooting is allowed is a controversial move, but Snoqualmie District Ranger Jim Franzel said he made the decision after gunfire has repeatedly come uncomfortably close to hikers, campers, contract workers and rangers.

    On Wednesday, rangers in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest began posting signs in the 7,000-acre area off Interstate 90 warning target shooters to push their activities into more remote sections of the more than 1 million-acre forest.

    Areas included in the shooting ban are along Tinkham and Denny Creek roads, although the areas still will be open to licensed hunters during the permissible months.

    Franzel said anyone caught target shooting in the banned areas can be fined up to $5,000 and face up to six months in jail. While he says the closure is a temporary one-year ban that will be reviewed in the fall, he would like to see target shooting permanently banned in the areas off I-90.

    "It's just a dangerous situation," Franzel said. "We have a lot of target shooters going into areas that are screened with vegetation. Target shooters believe they are shooting in a safe manner and they're not."

    It now is legal to discharge firearms in national forests, as long as it isn't within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area.

    Franzel said his decision to push forward with the ban came after a contract worker, who was recently in the forest repairing areas damaged by floods late last year, was nearly hit by gunfire. Franzel said that because of the dense forest coverage it is often difficult to determine where the gunfire is coming from.

    Dave Workman, a North Bend resident who is senior editor of Gun Week magazine, said he has talked to a contractor who was almost struck by target shooters in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

    "Some of these guys have been shooting along the road. ... That's not responsible shooting, it's just plain stupidity," Workman said. "I think about the image that these slob shooters are creating for every responsible gun owner who may want to go out and do recreational shooting."

    But one Pierce County hunter and firearms instructor believes that responsible gun users are being unfairly punished.

    "I do not believe the number of incidents that happen justifies penalizing everybody for the carelessness of very few," said Bob Wendt, who belongs to the National Rifle Association and the Washington State Rifle And Pistol Association. "Personally, I think people who shoot carelessly should be held to task for it legally. The days of shooting bottles at a landfill are long over."

    Wendt said he is concerned the ban on target shooting, what he calls "plinking," will encroach on the right to hunt in national forests.

    "If you close national forests to plinking, you close national forests to hunting. If it's not safe to plink, it's not safe to hunt," Wendt said.

    Nearly 5 million people visit the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest annually, the majority of whom, Franzel said, travel to easy-to-access trails and other destinations off I-90. The areas closed to target shooting will stretch from Exit 38, off I-90, to the top of Snoqualmie Pass.

    Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

    Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009408357_webtargetshooting01m.html
     
  2. Davidthepirate

    Davidthepirate Maple Valley, Wa Member

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    more damn bullbubblegum from people who want to get their name in news with rediculous bans that encroach on our rights as citizens
     
  3. Nexus7

    Nexus7 Western WA New Member

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  4. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So--since it doesn't affect YOU, it's OK?


    "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
    And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
     
  5. Nexus7

    Nexus7 Western WA New Member

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    I wasn't very clear, I had thought by restricting 27 miles of the I-90 corridor length, that meant you couldn't shoot anywhere near I-90, as in, for several miles or something. I thought they were pretty much saying if you wanna shoot on the I-90 forest roads, you have to drive beyond Snoqualmie pass. It was only yesterday that I actually saw the map that they published, and they've basically taken the previous 100 yards from I-90 law, and in some places left it alone, and in others increased it to about 1000 yards from I-90.

    So it's not all about me or something--I'm just relieved that it's not a total loss for the shooting community. You don't have to drive out to exit 70, you just have to drive 5 minutes into the woods rather than parking on the off-ramp.

    On the whole, it doesn't make me happy that any of these incremental restrictions exist, including the 100 yard law that we had in the first place, or even that we have to drive all the way to the NFS land, but I'll admit that I do feel some relief that you can still drive 45 minutes out of Seattle on I-90 and shoot for free. I'm sure many others will feel the same way. I realize it's a pathetic compromise, just like the 2nd amendment--'right to bear arms' is somehow legally interpreted as the right to bear the weapons technology of the early 1900s? Across the board, our laws of prejudiced, victimless crimes are way out of control and I can appreciate your allusion to Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, I'm not sure how we are capable of resisting any of it without getting tased and going straight to jail (unless posting in forums, talking, standing around like a panhandler holding a sign, or writing unread letters actually counts as resisting). Politics is money, infrastructure, and weapons, and the government (monetary democracy) and international banks already own all of that. Anyway, happy shooting. :thumbup:
     
  6. Seattle206

    Seattle206 Beacon Hill Member

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    so it is okay to shoot within the I-90 corridor as long as you're within how much into the forest? so basically this excludes any shooter who doesnt have a 4x4.
     
  7. wsu 5.9er

    wsu 5.9er Spanaway WA Member

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    No. Just have to be 100yds from I90. We were up there on Saturday. Any vehicle can make it up the FS roads. One the guys in our group has a 70's volvo wagon and there was a dodge neon already in the spot we were going to.
     
  8. Seattle206

    Seattle206 Beacon Hill Member

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    ok thanks for the clarification. two years ago i drove my subaru wrx up tinkham road for about 1-2 miles, i was sure my alignment would be f'd by the time i found a place to shoot. those damn giant potholes...
     
  9. Nexus7

    Nexus7 Western WA New Member

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    Click here to see the restricted zone.

    (Edit: sorry, the link was broken in a post above).

    Be sure to look at the map. There is no hard and fast 100 yard law. It is an irregularly drawn restricted zone that varies between 100 and ~1000 yards (just my eyeball estimate, looking at the map) from the freeway. You will probably also notice signs posted up there.

    I suggest you browse google maps in satellite mode. I was able to see the places I shoot and accurately compare them with the forest service pdf posted above to verify legality.

    Yeah, it's a pain in the ***. Anyway, have fun shooting and PM me if you wanna trade tips/google maps links on spots in this region.
     
  10. Seattle206

    Seattle206 Beacon Hill Member

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    the map provided in kinda confusing, i tried comparing the "no shooting" map to google satilette maps to pinpoint the legal areas to shoot. I normally shoot just right off exit 42, turn left at the stop sign and head straight to the dead end, hike up the little hill to the shooting mound. I am trying to figure out if this is 100 yards away from i-90.
     
  11. wsu 5.9er

    wsu 5.9er Spanaway WA Member

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    Probably not. The area around exit 42 is more than 100yds, according to the map. The no-shooting area is pretty well marked. You'll see the signs if you head up there. It will also tell you when you're leaving the no-shooting area. ;)
     
  12. JUSTIficatioN

    JUSTIficatioN Seattle, Wa Member

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    yo nexus! you dont want to shoot off of exit 42 anymore, i was just up there about 3 weeks ago and i almost (talked the sheriff out of it because i didn't know) got a big ol' ticket, too many people started dumping there trash and leaving there brass up there.
    if i here of any good spots i'll let ya'll know and if you could do the same i would greatly appreciate.
     
  13. Nexus7

    Nexus7 Western WA New Member

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    Yep, just looking at the map, it looks like shooting on that dead end would be cutting it really close. I haven't been using that spot considering it's so close to the freeway. I just drive up the nearby forest roads, some of which lead to some decent clearings. PM sent with details.
     
  14. JCL

    JCL Eastside Member

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    I would really like to find some outdoor areas to shoot...but theres not that much longer in the ban if I understand correctly.