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BLM will ban target shooting in Sonoran Desert National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management has passed an amendment to prohibit recreational target shooting on hundreds of thousands of acres inside the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

The BLM amendment will end recreational target shooting on more than 480,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert National Monument. 

“We’ve seen places where people have used saguaro cactus as targets. We’ve seen places where archaeological sites have been impacted by target shooting," said Chris Wonderly, the agency’s public affairs specialist for the Phoenix District Office.

The ban applies only to the monument area itself, but about 5,000 acres at the site will remain unrestricted. Wonderly notes that over 93% of BLM public lands in Arizona don’t prohibit the practice and that the bureau is working toward creating more designated sites for target shooters in metro Phoenix. 

Nick Karmia is an intern at KJZZ.