The Bureau of Land Management’s Salt Lake Office is seeking public comment on the proposed Soldier Pass shooting range south of Saratoga Springs.
It’s an area of Utah County that has been under a test period banning shooting due to frequent human-caused fires. Sgt. Spencer Cannon is with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. He says he favors the proposal because exploding population growth is causing fire and safety hazards in an area that was open desert for many years.
“But having a place where people can actually go is fantastic. It’s a lot closer than anything else that’s around in Utah County,” says Cannon. “It’s going to be a big range with rifle ranges and handgun ranges, where the public can go in a safe setting.”
Kevin Oliver is the West Desert District manager for the BLM. He says the shooting range proposal is allowed under provisions of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.
“Where this comes in is when you have such a high density of shooters and they all want to go in the same vicinity,” says Oliver. “That’s where recreational target shooting can become a problem and so the shooting range is very likely to be a good answer to that.”
Oliver says public comment is a very important part of the process to allow the conveyance of the 160 acres to Utah County. He says the BLM is hoping to get specific fact-based comments as well as personal opinions from all concerned parties. The public comment period ends August 28th.