Jan 11, 2010 6:19 PM by Aly Kline
Local Forest Service officials have announced that target shooting will be closed for the next 12 months on all national forest lands from Highway 41 to the Garcia wilderness within the Santa Lucia Ranger District on Los Padres National Forest.
Despite the prohibition, the area will still be open to hunting in accordance with California laws. Public access to the closed areas will not be affected.
Santa Lucia District Ranger Kathleen Phelps says that the new restrictions aim to provide public safety in areas of intense recreation use, protect homes next to the national forest, and prevent harassment of the California condor and nesting peregrine falcons.
The Los Padres National Forest land management plan encourages target shooting in designated areas. Phelps says further dialog between the public and the Forest Service is needed to identify suitable areas of the forest for safe target shooting. Any group interested in helping the Forest Service determine public shooting areas should contact the Santa Lucia Ranger District in Santa Maria.
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