Creating a vision for recreational target shooting
   

Each decade, the number of recreationists spending time outdoors enjoying DNR’s landscapes has increased. As use has increased, conflicts between different types of recreationist has also increased. The vast majority of DNR-managed land is open to target shooting. At the same time, DNR is having to close areas to target shooting as a matter of public safety. Yet, visitors and nearby residents still report instances that they felt were unsafe. In response to public requests, DNR is looking at what options may exist for target shooting, just as we do for other activities periodically.

Background

DNR has a history of successfully managing recreation so that the agency still meets its primary trust objectives while allowing all user groups to enjoy these landscapes. DNR recreation staff have done this by learning about the landscapes and discussing with stakeholders where, and how, various types of recreation can best occur. Traditionally, target shooting has not been included in these discussions.

Initial outreach

Last spring, DNR held four outreach meetings to discuss target shooting for the Capitol, Tahuya, Harry Osborne and Yacolt Burn state forests. The goals was to get ideas from local community members and forest visitors on the table. Agency staff asked if there were better ways to manage target shooting and other activities in these specific landscapes that could enhance public safety and the recreation experience beyond what exists today.

Project overview

Since the meetings in Spring of 2016, DNR has improved the online information that it provides regarding target shooting. Staff have also created four separate email notice lists, one for each forest, based on public input regarding how they would like to be kept informed. To be added to an e-mail notification list, sign up from this link.
 
DNR staff have taken ideas generated by the public and over the summer researched what similar efforts have worked for other states and agencies. However, any approach will be tailored to each unique landscape.
 
There is no defined timeline for this effort. The work associated with each landscape will move forward on individual timeframes. See below for information specific to each forest.

Capitol State Forest

Feedback summary from the June 2, 2016 meeting
Update: No further action has been taken at this time.
Forest information: www.dnr.wa.gov/Capitol

Harry Osborne State Forest

Feedback summary from the June 1, 2016 meeting
Update: No further action has been taken at this time.
Forest information: www.dnr.wa.gov/Blanchard

Tahuya State Forest

Feedback summary from the May 17, 2016 meeting
Update: Staff are meeting with community members, analyzing forest sites and planning further community meetings to discuss options.

Yacolt Burn State Forest

Feedback summary from the May 31, 2016 meeting
Update: No further action has been taken at this time.
Forest information: www.dnr.wa.gov/Yacolt

Managing timber, providing opportunities outdoors

Most recreation across DNR-managed lands takes place on trust lands, either those federally granted at statehood or those that counties transferred to the state for management, mostly in the 1920s and 30s. DNR manages these 3 million acres on behalf of specific beneficiaries in Washington state to provide a continuous flow of revenue through revenue-producing activities, such as timber harvests. Our education systems and local communities use these funds to provide public services. Yet, these lands, which include all State Forests across Washington, are capable of doing much more than just generating revenue. DNR further manages state trust lands to provide public benefits, such as habitat for native plant and animal species, water protections, and diverse public recreation opportunities. Learn more about how DNR funds schools and services.