Public Safety Hazard Prompts Shooting Restrictions on DNR Parcel
News Date: 
May 13, 2022

Alternative sites being pursued after target shooting closure near Swenson Road in Stevens County

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has placed target shooting restrictions on a parcel of state land near Swenson Road in Stevens County. The parcel, located in a growing residential area, has prompted multiple reports of “close calls” when used for target shooting.
The parcel is located along Swenson road near the intersection of State Route 291 in the community of Suncrest. The property is also adjacent to several residences and businesses and close to a public school. The new restrictions follow multiple law enforcement responses where local residents reported bullets landing on their property after being shot from the parcel.
An alternative target shooting site within Stevens County is being discussed after close consultations with state and local elected leaders.
“Safety on all DNR lands is our top priority. The agency needs to ensure we are acting in the best interests of public safety and our neighbors while still ensuring recreational opportunities for all,” said Brett Walker, DNR Northeast Region Assistant Manager for State Lands. “I want to thank both Senator Short and Commissioner McCart for their counsel and leadership and for their assistance in locating a more appropriate site.”
The restrictions follow a similar public safety closure at the Stonelodge site near Suncrest after neighbors shared concerns over errant shots from that parcel of state land. DNR has temporarily closed both parcels to target shooting in the past due to extreme fire danger.
“Safety must be a concern when considering closures, but opportunities to recreate can’t continue to be closed without supplying alternatives, and we are all committed to finding a safe target shooting area in close proximity to the great Suncrest area,” said Wes McCart, Chair of the Board of Stevens County Commissioners.
“I am pleased that DNR is willing to work with Commissioner McCart and me on finding an alternative site that is better suited for recreational target shooting in the long run.  It is important to me to restore these opportunities to folks in the Suncrest area,” said State Senator Shelly Short.
The majority of DNR parcels allow target shooting, except where prohibited by local ordinance. Target shooting restrictions do not apply to licensed hunting, which will remain open on both parcels during designated seasons.
Shooting on DNR parcels is allowed 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset and requires biodegradable targets and an earthen backstop. Incendiary devices – such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition – are illegal on all 13 million acres of DNR-protected lands. Violators of the shooting closure could be subject to fines.
Ryan Rodruck
Communications Manager
Cell: 360-706-3121