Showdown with shooters to keep desert from becoming a dump

By: Kelly Asmuth Email
By: Kelly Asmuth Email

CLIFTON, Colo. (KKCO) - The Bureau of Land Management is in a battle to keep the desert clean, but so far they don't appear to be winning. Sheriff's Deputies and Park Rangers responded to reports of explosives Sunday evening. It was actually a wrecked car getting used for target practice near 34 and C Road. The group of shooters actually towed the wrecked car out for its final trip.

Rangers say anything people bring into the desert for target practice must be cleaned up entirely. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen. Glass shards, beer cans, smashed pumpkins, bullet shells, a car battery, and other blown–up remnants completely cover the area.

"Unfortunately, we don't have enough people to be out here all the time. So, we have to ask the public to police themselves, and pick up the stuff and be responsible. That's the way these areas are going to stay open, so people can use them for the uses they want to," says BLM Ranger Bryce Stewart.

Anyone caught converting the desert into a dump can be slapped with a heavy littering fine or required to appear in court. Rangers say it's not out of the question for shooting to ultimately be banned on BLM land, if people don't start treating it responsibly.

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