With the exception of local wildfires sourced to unsafe/illegal target shooting, published media below is dated and does not cover recent improvements.
Since July 2017 when target shooting finally prohibited at spur road FS 7013 less than 1 mile firing range of Crystal River Ranch Community, no report has surfaced of a bullet landing in the Community. Our White River Forest Protection Association continues a strong partnership working with Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Forest Service personnel. Definitely there is an increase in resources identifying unsafe target shooting locations, the posting and monitoring of them and repetitive clean-ups accomplished at the numerous debris covered shooting sites.
Recreational shooters caused a small fire in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest last week.
Author: Chris Daniels
Published: 7:33 PM PDT August 26, 2016
Updated: 7:33 PM PDT August 26, 2016
MOUNT BAKER-SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FOREST - "This is literally a disaster,” said State Rep. Chris Hurst.
That's what Hurst said as he walked through the forest, outside Greenwater. He stumbled upon bullet-riddled televisions, propane tanks, and fuel canisters.
"There are shell casings everywhere," said Hurst.
Hurst said it all started roughly three years ago when "a whole new group of people started coming into the woods with guns."
On this sunny Friday, he shook his head as he watched a few people, including a young family, use a part of the forest land for target practice. Hurst said, and the Forest Service confirmed, the spot was the site of a small fire sparked by recreational shooting last week.
"We heard the shooting, heard the explosions, saw the cars there, saw the fire," said Hurst, who lives near the spot.
He said he's complained to Federal officials for weeks, and has seen no changes.
Beyond the fire concerns, Hurst said there are issues about safety near main roads and environmental contamination. He pointed to a study, paid for by his neighborhood association, showing lead levels in the soil well above safe levels. A two-hour tour to multiple spots revealed fallen, bullet riddled trees.
The Forest Service said it is aware of the complaints, and was proactively patrolling this past week.
Spokesperson Tracy O'Toole wrote in an emailed statement:
"The Forest Service has had a fully staffed fire engine patrolling the Hwy 410 corridor daily over the past week. The Forest Service will have a fully staffed engine on patrol in the area working extended hours over the next several days. The Forest Service is not considering a temporary ban on target shooting at this time as weather conditions are expected to moderate over the weekend. The Forest Service is currently exploring long-term options to address recreational shooting concerns in the area."
But Hurst said, it should be addressed sooner rather than later.
"In the forest, you can have shooting, but with designated areas, that have bullets traps, and safety things, there so you don't start fires,” Hurst said.
"I've been a hunter most of my life, I own guns," he said. "People up here are not anti-hunting, not looking at shut down of hunting. We need to shut down right now, recreational shooting, until all of this gets cleaned up."
As he walked away, Hurst turned and stared at a slope littered with debris. "This is not what John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt had in mind," Hurst said.
Seattle Times - 2 Minutes
Too many shooters, not enough enforcement, say Greenwater residents
Greenwater: 2016 Very few legal biodegradable targets in this one. Amazing, I recall picking up, bagging and hauling away their shot up debris. I'm sure more than their shooting fun I would have enjoyed rubbing their target shooting noses in this mess.
Greenwater: 2015 incendiary target illegal shooting Greenwater White River Valley NFS 7012 ridge area. Minute 1:30 is fire ignition. Drone camera used.
Greenwater: Shooting off ridge edge. Believe FS72 in direction of Crystal Village and Crystal River Ranch communities.
Greenwwater: Bump firing no earthen backstop, vegetation destruction. Not sure spur road location off FS 70.
Greenwater: Family outing, illegal tannerite exploding target FS 7013
Greenwater: Shooting TVs a forest branch road location off FS 70.
FS 70 Quarry Shooting Pit - Father Shoots 10 Year Old Son
Shooting range is 'menace,' but legal
Seattle Times staff reporters
The U.S. Forest Service routinely directs gun enthusiasts to the unofficial shooting range where a 10-year-old Auburn-area boy was shot dead by his father Sunday — even handing out maps to the popular target-practice site.
But Pierce County sheriff's deputies call the gravel pit a menace.
Forest Service officials say they prefer that gun enthusiasts go there rather than firing willy-nilly on other parts of the public lands.
Sheriff's deputies who responded Sunday to the shooting scene, an expansive pit southeast of rural Greenwater, say bullets whizzed over their heads as they investigated the shooting death of Kurtis Pryor.
While perfectly legal, deputies say, the unofficial shooting park is a frequent headache.
A commercial, indoor target-range operator scorns the backwoods gunfire as an accident waiting to happen.
"I've seen some very questionable gun-handling skills," said Frank Roufs, rangemaster at Weapons Safety, a Bellevue gun store that boasts one of the largest indoor shooting ranges in the state. "It's truly terrifying."