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Why shooting should be banned on public lands:

I don't need to say too much. The pictures speak for themselves.These pictures were taken at ONE spot on NF-45 forest road in Mt. Hood National Forest. The road is also known as "Memaloose" or "Maymaloose" road depending on which sign and map you read. It is maybe 50 miles outside of Portland, southeast on Hwy 224 - along the Clackamas river.
The country up there is some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. The ridge lines, and the deep jagged canyon from millions of years of raging water in the Clackamas river are something wonderful to behold.Driving up this road, we passed at least 5 spots that seemed to be popular with shooters, before we turned around. The road is a steep one lane paved road, and our GPS said we went from 700ft. at the river to 3000ft. almost instantaneously. At some points there are steep 1000 foot drops on either side of the road. It is breathtaking. Until you come across the shooting sites, which make you nauseous. I just had to take pictures of one spot, but there are many many more just like it. While I was taking pictures I could hear the shooting echoing around me all throughout the hills.I enjoy shooting. I grew up in a very remote area, and we all shot a lot. Most of my friends shoot.But why on earth can't shooters pick up after themselves? This is one of the most terrible things I have seen in a long time. If this is how the shooters are going to respect our natural areas, then I say - just keep them out. I have never left any litter any time I have gone shooting, camping, picnicking, skiing, or any other outdoor activity. It is not hard folks - "pack it in = pack it out".And DumpStoppers? How are those prosecutions going? Doesn't look too well, I would imagine. Remember - all of these pictures (and all of those included in the flickr set) were at ONLY ONE SPOT!

Comments

Kenny said…
I couldn't possibly disagree more with your headline. However, I do agree that shooters leave a lot of garbage behind. I know you even warned me about your title, but that seems irresponsible. That's kinda like titling a pro-choice article "WHY WE SHOULD KILL BABIES!!!".
ValkRaider said…
Well now, first of all lets leave the pro-choice stuff out of it because the definition of "baby" is what is really not agreed on. And it is also different because I never said that "ALL SHOOTING" should be banned. Just "shooting on public lands" so if you wanted to be closer it would be "WHY WE SHOULD KILL BABIES ON PUBLIC LAND" or some such nonsense.

But even being pro-shooting myself, I cannot possibly support allowing them (or anyone) to trash our forests the way they have. Clearly the nice polite "please pick up your trash" is not working, and I would bet that the public is not willing to add the cost of policing the shooting sites to any public budgets - so I would say the easiest thing to do is to ban the activity.

I did think of a complicated yet 100% effective way to police it. You could have people have to register to enter the shooting spots - much like camping at a campground. Charge them the standard day use fee, and take their information down. At the end of the day, run a quick pass through the area, if there is garbage left - fine EVERYONE who was there that day. Use the fees and the fines to pay for the costs of the enforcement. I guarantee that if everyone got fined that you would have people policing themselves very quickly.

But if shooters want respect, they have to give respect. And currently it seems they do not. You would be disgusted if you saw how many sites looked just like that one (one was actually significantly worse but there were people there shooting so I did not stop and take pictures). This was just one road...

When I head out and go camping at remote sites, we always end up leaving the clearings and sites CLEANER than when we arrived. I arrived at one site, and packed out a full garbage bag of trash that was left there by previous campers. And I have never seen any site near as trashed as those shooting sites. I would bet you could fill a pickup truck with trash from each one of the shooting sites. The pictures don't even really show all of what could be seen while walking around - and it wasn't even limited to the main sites themselves. There were shells and broken glass all up and down the road...

I say ban it. Seriously. Until they can play well with others, they should not be allowed in the sandbox.
J said…
Those bastards, I pick up everything when I go and I shoot on publice land about a dozen times a year. I think we should do more to try
and catch these bitches in the act. I will volunteer to go up there and
shoot anyone I see that leaves trash. I will even pick up my spent cases
after I leave. ;) Seriously people, if your one of few decent humans out there that picks up their shit when you go out there and you see this happening you need to say something to the individual. If we let this keep on going on we will loose our privileges to use OUR public lands. What's the worst thing that can happen, they mouth off, tell you to get fu#*ed and you move on. Grow some balls, don't forget your armed too. Write down the plate number and report them, or remember why your out there in the first place, that's right, target practice, it's a lot more challenging to hit a moving target! This applies not only to shooters, but anyone who abuses the woods. I see trash left behind by plenty of campers also. Everyone want's to be all green at home in the city, why not practice these habits where it matters most, out in the wilderness.
Kenny said…
You're right, a better comparison should be "why doctors should clean up after they perform abortions". You missed my point completely. You should be advocating for shooters to clean up after themselves, not to ban them from shooting on public lands. If you're going to advocate banning the use of public lands because of misuse by some people, then you're as bad as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. You're smarter than that, VR. Advocate for fixing the behavior, not for punishing everyone including those who are responsible, Mrs. Brady (not the "Bunch" one).
Anonymous said…
I think that we have been asking people (shooters included) to clean up after themselves for years. It appears to not be working. Time for more drastic measures...
Gabriel said…
Was just up there yesterday morning for about 4 hours. Picked up after myself and some otehr garbage as best I could (as I usually do - bring your guns... and a rake!) Somebody before me was nice and bagged a bunch of grbage and left the bag intact for me to haul out. Not bitching... genuinely glad they did that - maybe they couldn't fit the crap in their car or something.

Anyways, I've done some volunteering for groups that upkeep the hot springs in the MHNF. Is there any kind fo group that would/could "adopt" the few shooting areas up Memaloose? Could one be started? Is this a pipe dream.

BTW, found your blog while searching for such a thing as I mentioned above.
Michael Malley said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Malley said…
"You should be advocating for shooters to clean up after themselves..."

I'm not likely to see a reply to this comment so i'm not here to start a discussion, but i feel that this is not unlike advocating that you shouldn't go around raping people. How does this not fall under "common sense"?

As an aside, until we have 1984 (which is only a matter of time), the few will always spoil it for the many. Of course, by then, that'll be the least of our problems.
Kat said…
I see this all the time because I happen to work in the forests. I've made a good deal of money picking up all the aluminum cans left behind by these litterbugs! ;) If I find a bad spot, I report it to our law enforcement officers and they dig through things to see if they can find any names on anything to prosecute someone. If there is hazardous waste involved, they bring in HazMat to clean it up. When the general public sees stuff like this, whether it's from shooting or just general trash dumping, report it to the USFS or BLM office-they are obligated to investigate it and clean it up. If you see someone doing it, like another post advised, write down the license plate and report it. The best way to stop these scumbags is to report them and get them prosecuted!

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