POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – Shooters damaged the newly installed kiosk at the Lead Draw trailhead days after installation.
“We are very disappointed,” Westside Ranger District Recreation Manager Sheila Larsen said. “In addition to the blatant property damage, the shooter displayed poor judgement by shooting near a trailhead, making it unsafe for other recreators in the area.”
Parts of a newly constructed fence have also been shot.
The East Mink Creek Corridor is currently a major focus area for revitalization on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. This is due to significant funding from the Great American Outdoors Act. A considerable amount of money and effort has been put into revitalizing this area, including trailhead improvements, paving of East Mink Creek Road to Justice Park/Scout Mountain and new signage and kiosks. Additionally, the forest is planning a Lead Draw Trail reroute which would allow users to safely use the trail system in the same area while continuing to allow for responsible recreational shooting.
As a multiple-use agency, the Forest Service supports various kinds of recreation, including recreational shooting. However, while the Lead Draw area currently remains open for target shooting, users are urged to not abuse this privilege. Shooters must practice ethical and respectful target shooting behavior. Know your target and what’s beyond it. Remember to always use a backstop. Don’t shoot up the canyon or across the trail, and please pick up after yourselves.
“Generous citizens and service groups donate their time and energy to repetitively clean up popular areas on public lands near our communities, but this isn’t fair to them,” Larsen said. “If you pack it in, you need to pack it out.”
The district is seeking assistance from the local community to stop vandalism in Mink Creek. Anyone witnessing such acts, or with information regarding this most recent incident, is encouraged to contact the ranger district or the Bannock County Sheriff’s office.
Know before you go
Target shooting is allowed on national forest or grassland unless restricted. Check your local ranger district for more information about local restriction. For special orders of the Caribou Targhee, check out the Forest Orders Interactive Map HERE.
It is prohibited to shoot:
- In or within 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area or occupied area.
- Across or on a national forest or grassland road or body of water.
- In any manner or place where any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
- Into or within a cave.
- Firing tracer bullets or incendiary ammunition.
- Disturbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resource, structure, site, artifact, property.
- Abandoning any personal property or failing to dispose of all garbage, including targets, paper, cans, bottles, appliances.
In general, you should target shoot only if you:
- Use approved targets. Certain forests may have specific restrictions, such as the type of targets used (i.e. cardboard targets, paper targets, clay pigeons). Exploding targets are not recommended and are restricted on many forests or grasslands for safety and fire concerns.
- Use approved targets along with a safe, “bullet-proof” backstop. Do not to attach your targets to vegetation or structures, such as trees, log decks, slash piles, fences, or water tanks.
- Practice safe gun handling by:
- Treating every gun as if it is loaded.
- Never letting the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Keeping your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot.
- Making sure of your target and what is beyond.
- Are not in possession of alcoholic beverages while discharging a firearm.