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Author Topic: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues  (Read 8083 times)

Offline huntrights

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Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« on: May 04, 2012, 10:28:10 AM »
I just received this news release from the WDFW.  Those that utilize this area for target shooting need to take note of the issues.  Get involved.  Go to these meetings. 

These things typically happen due to a few offending individuals.  All target shooters need to be mindful of multi-user areas, safe shooting practices, and picking up your targets and empty casings when you are finished.  It’s also a good practice to take home more garbage than you brought in; unfortunately, some people still don’t understand that our open areas are not garbage dumps.  Please help to get the word out.

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/
May 4, 2012
Contact: Cindi Confer Morris, (509) 697-4503

Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues to be
discussed May 15-16 in Ellensburg, Selah

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct two public meetings this month to discuss possible solutions to safety issues and other concerns associated with target shooting on the Wenas Wildlife Area near Ellensburg.

The meetings will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the following locations:

Tuesday, May 15, Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg
Wednesday, May 16, Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah

Target shooting is allowed on the 114,150-acre area Wenas Wildlife Area, but is causing increasing problems including safety issues, environmental damage and conflicts among visitors, said Cindi Confer Morris, WDFW wildlife area manager.

"We'll talk about those issues at the meetings, but we want to spend most of the time looking for solutions," she said. "We have some ideas, but we really want to hear what the people who use these areas have to say."

Public conduct rules established for all 39 WDFW wildlife areas include some restrictions on target shooting, such as prohibiting the use of glass, signs, appliances, mattresses, televisions and furniture as targets.

But Confer Morris said problems remain on the Wenas Wildlife Area.

"Some shooters just set up targets wherever they want, and that creates safety issues for hikers, horseback riders and other users," she said. "We've also had wildfires started by sparks from target shooting, and we still have problems with people using inappropriate things as targets."

Potential solutions include limiting or relocating traditional target shooting areas or restricting target shooting when the risk of wildfires is high, Confer Morris said.

"But we're open to any and all ideas," she said. "Our budgets and staff time are very limited, so we need to come up with creative solutions that don't require a lot of time or money to implement."
 

« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 10:55:49 AM by jshunt »

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 05:14:43 PM »
Thanks for posting.

You guys who like this area better spend some time on this issue and attend if possible.

JS, is there any value in sending an email yet or wait until a suggested policy is in the mix? Doesn't sound much like we know what the suggested solutions are to date...
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Offline huntrights

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 06:41:13 PM »
Cindi Confer Morris, (509) 697-4503, is listed as a contact on this one.  It might be a good idea to contact her to find out if anything can be done ahead of time, or if emails will help.  I think it would be a good idea to get as much information from her as possible prior to the scheduled meetings so those that go will have an opportunity to prepare.

This will not be a situation where target shooters will be getting more freedom in their shooting activities.  This is a situation where more restrictions will most likely be imposed.  Those that target shoot in this area better step up to the plate and be involved in the process or be prepared to have others dictate how their target shooting activities will be restricted, controlled, or eliminated.  Be a part of the process and let all of us know if any part of it appears biased, unfair, unethical, or lacking in due process in any way.  I am only mentioning these unsavory descriptions because of our lessons learned in the proposed Thurston County No Shooting Zone Ordinance.  However, the WDFW is a completely different government entity than the Thurston County Commission.  Based on my experience with the WDFW, I would expect them to follow an honest and ethical path that truly seeks a solution that can work for all involved.  Share the facts.  Many useful facts may be at the foundation of observations, so it is good to share observations/opinions as well. 

Get the word out to those that target shoot in this area.  If those people don’t get deeply involved and keep all of us informed, then it will be very difficult to get help from others if the “Solutions” start going in an undesirable or unjustified direction.  It sounds like the WDFW sincerely wants to work with target shooters that use the area.  Get involved in the process and give it chance.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 06:49:10 AM by jshunt »

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 05:51:08 AM »
Thanks JS, hope some guys get involved in this one.
molṑn labé

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Offline huntrights

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 07:19:19 AM »

After giving this additional thought, I think this is good opportunity for the local sportsmen to take control of the situation to ensure the outcome truly addresses whatever valid concerns there may be.  The WDFW is most likely having these meetings because there were some complaints.  This is how the Thurston County No Shooting Zone fiasco began; you don’t want it to go that far.   Work to find solutions to these issues early in the game; don’t let those with anti-gun, anti-shooting, anti-hunting sentiment take this to an extreme level as we have seen in other areas.

A quick look at the map shows the following communities near the Wenas Wildlife Area:

Ahtanum
Bristol
Cle Elum
Ellensburg
Fruitvale
Gleed
Kittitas
Moxee
Nacches
Pomona
Selah
South Broadway
Summitview
Terrace Heights
Thorp
Tieton
Union Gap
Weikel
West Valley
Yakima


If any of you reading this post know of any sportsmen in any of those communities, notify them and get them engaged.  These are the people that will be most affected.  Also notify local gun clubs and hunting clubs, etc. that are in these areas.  Sportsmen and related organizations need to show up in force at these meetings to ensure their interests are fairly represented.

Here are a couple organizations I found – Let them know about this:

Cooke Canyon Hunt Club
Tel: 888-857-5074
151 Pointer Lane
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Kittitas Valley Rifle & Pistol Club
Tel: 509-925-2472
NW 15th Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 07:39:08 AM by jshunt »

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 05:10:21 PM »
I will be going and will be letting a few more people I know know about this like the gun/pawn shops they talk to lots of shooters so can get word out quicker to more folks than I can.

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 08:07:40 AM »
I will be going and will be letting a few more people I know know about this like the gun/pawn shops they talk to lots of shooters so can get word out quicker to more folks than I can.

Thanks Runamuk.  If several people do as you are going to do; this may go in a positive direction.  The word needs to get out and the affected population of recreational shooters and hunters absolutely must get involved in this.

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 11:06:48 PM »
I have just received some information that indicates there may be some safety issues at the current target shooting area.  Go to the meetings and gain an understanding of the safety issues (i.e. lack of an adequate backstop).  Determine if the safety issues can be fixed at the current location.  If not, what might be the alternatives?  Perhaps another location might be appropriate with upgrades that ensure safe target shooting.  Safety is first and foremost in any shooting activity.  Those of you that use this area have a good opportunity to guide this into a good and safe outcome.  Get involved.

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 11:45:05 AM »
Just got done talking to some people in the know.  It is first and foremost a garbage dumping issue huge amounts of trash left behind by shooters.  It is the Durr rd range in question.  The safety issue stems from people who set up and shoot before they get to the actual range and the line of fire is at a house. There is also another stretch of road up there where people shoot with the same lack of adequate backstop for rifles.   There are many who dont want to see this area close, and who have been taking it upon themselves to help clean up trash etc... the hope is to come up with some solutions to the issues.  I think from what I am hearing there should be a good turnout.

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 06:06:44 PM »
I have been up to a few of them many times and just about everyone I have seen shooting leaves garbage! They need to just go up there in unmarked rigs and sit there and just start handing out tickets.  :twocents:  I think if they did that for a few weeks it would stop the majority of whats going on!  :twocents:

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 07:20:57 PM »
With the heavy gang usage the only thing will be to close it.  they dont follow any of our other laws - they wont care about some sign.  Then when that area is closed they will move up the road and trash that too.  Then that will be closed and so on and so on....

I have been up there before and left becuase of the gang numbers...  Pretty sure they wont be at the meeting either....
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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 08:10:23 PM »
Good Luck on that, the history of shooting places in Snohomish County is not much better than Thurston...especially when the County council votes to close the LAST open LEGAL area in the county....and then one of the councilmen brags that he will still have HIS place in the woods to shoot.

The county has had plans for a public range on the books for over 40 years and finally just in the last 6 months is making some headway on actually looking like they might DO something.  but the projected opening is still years away.  I've been on the list for the only place in the county where you can shoot 500 yards...been on the list for 3 years now and going for 4.

Get in there, make yourselves heard or you will be out of another place to shoot.
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WDFW is going farther and farther backwards....we need FISH AND GAME back!

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 08:46:02 PM »
No way a good sporstman can stop the B.S. going on out there.  They might as well put a gate and barbed wire fencing out there to stop the people.  Gang members need target practice as they seem to miss a lot at the people they are shooting at :chuckle:.

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Re: Wenas Wildlife Area target-shooting issues
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 07:37:09 PM »
Very dissapointed in the response from people that use these ranges and or hunting areas.
I went to the Ellensburg meeting last night and out of the 15 people that were there most were land owners in the area complaining about noise and garbage and having people shoot long range weapons towards them while riding horses or walking. Wish more of us that are responsible users were represented.  That said, the reps from DNR and Fish and Wildlife were more open than I thought they would be to trying to make it work.  The big issues- Habitat degridation, wildlife displaced, Garbage, Noise, Fires in summer months, multiple users in the area and more and more sites popping up.  I think with the people here we could come up with some pretty good solutions to ensure these areas are open all year long and we are still able to use the land.
Some of the things(focused on the Eburg area) that were brought up for solutions that don't cost a huge amount were-

more education at major events ie.
CWU-lots of college kids shooting for fun but leave garbage
Ellensburg Rodeo-setup a booth
Bi-mart-Sure Shot-Trading Post-other places one might get ammo or outdoor stuff-responsible practices pamphlets
Enforcement on busy weekends-ticketing in view of others to encourage others to be responsible and cleanup
Close the area from June-October due to fire danger :bdid:
1 designated shooting range on north end near Eburg & 1 on South end near Selah
Signage at Durr Rd and Sheep Company entrances with a few key responsible practices and laws

I had to leave about 20 minutes early since my daughter caught her finger in a door  :'(

Hope the Selah event had more people that care about this issue attend and speak their mind.

Here is some contact info for those of you who would like to make sure these lands stay well represented and voice responsible ideas-

TeamYakima@dfw.wa.gov
or
WDFW
attn:Cindi Confer Morris
1701 S. 24th Ave.
Yakima, WA 98902

 


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