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Agencies Urge Safe Target Shooting at West Mountain

To improve public safety in the communities around West Mountain, the Bureau of Land Management, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), Utah County Sheriff’s Department, and Santaquin City Police Department remind the public to use safe target shooting practices.

Public lands on West Mountain serve as a backyard for nearby communities in Utah County, including Genola, which has been impacted by several stray bullets hitting private structures.

“Millions of people enjoy target shooting in our country every year and we will continue working with our many law enforcement partners to ensure that it remains a safe sport for years to come,” said BLM District Supervisory Ranger Camm Stephenson. To improve public safety while maintaining open lands for target shooting, law enforcement is increasing patrols and installing signs to remind the public in nearby communities of safe target shooting practices.

“The Utah County Sheriff’s Department is committed to improving public safety both in target shooting areas and surrounding communities,” said Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith. “Target shooters are reminded to be careful when selecting a shooting location and to always have a safe backstop.”

The public can help improve public safety by using the following target shooting practices:

1) Know your backstop – Select a safe backdrop such as a berm, hill, or mountain. Ensure that targets are located safely below the backstop.

2) Respect your neighbors – Be aware of nearby residential properties when selecting a target shooting location. Avoid shooting in the direction of other homes, roads or other public land users.

3) Public lands are closed to the use of tracers, incendiaries, and exploding targets.

4) Respect historic resources – West Mountain is home to Native American petroglyphs. Avoid shooting toward small rocks and boulders.

5) Leave No Trace – Pack out all bullet casings, targets, and trash.

Over three million acres of BLM-administered land in the Salt Lake Field Office and hundreds of thousands of acres of trust lands managed by SITLA in northern Utah remain open to target shooting, including West Mountain. Closures are maintained in certain areas across Utah to protect persons, property, and historical artifacts.

Please adhere to all closure signs and notices. For additional information, contact Camm Stephenson at (801) 977-4300. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.