Sep 26, 2013 2:35 PM by Faye DeHoff
TUCSON - As the Coronado National Forest continues cleanup work in Redington Pass, located on the Santa Catalina Ranger District, a temporary closure of three dispersed shooting sites has been extended.
The sites, located between Mile Markers 5.0 and 7.0 along Pima County Road 371, also known as Redington Road, were temporarily closed January 14, 2013, to enable contractors and Forest personnel to remove shooting debris and conduct a risk assessment of the area. The temporary closure has been extended until September 30, 2014 or until rescinded, whichever is earlier.
The closure extension is needed to allow proper analysis and cleanup of the recreational target shooting areas, and to assure the protection of public health and safety by prohibiting the recreational discharge of firearms.
Prohibited activities include parking a motorized vehicle between Mile Markers 5.0 and 7.0 along Pima County Road 371, and discharging a firearm, air rifle, paint ball gun, gas gun or archery equipment between Mile Markers 5.0 and 7.0, or within 0.6 miles of that segment of the road.
The Redington Pass area (Site) is known and used by many local firearms enthusiasts as it is located just east of Tucson between the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Rincon Mountains in northeast Pima County. Past shooting activities left 2.5 acres of the Coronado National Forest littered with projectiles and casings resulting from the shooting activities.
In April 2013, the Forest Service performed a Streamlined Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment (Risk Assessment) to further characterize soil conditions and evaluate the potential human health and ecological risks at the Site.
The Risk Assessment determined lead concentrations in the soil posed an unacceptable risk to the recreational user. After further evaluation and consideration, the Forest Service will begin an environmental cleanup to remove the soil containing lead concentrations. The soil will be hauled away and disposed of at an approved licensed waste management facility.
Construction activities associated with the cleanup will begin October 21st. Heavy equipment will be used for the cleanup, which is expected to be completed by mid-November.
Forest personnel have also begun working with a number of partners to develop a Redington Pass Collaborative Management Plan. The plan will guide future management of the area and is intended to increase visitor safety, enhance multiple uses and recreational experiences, and minimize user conflicts. Multiple uses in the area include hiking, mountain biking, hunting, grazing, wildlife watching, off-highway vehicle use, recreational shooting, picnicking, camping, plant identification, and nature study.
Additionally, the Coronado has received an application for a managed shooting range in Redington Pass. Forest personnel are currently working with the applicant on the proposal.
Please contact the Coronado National Forest at (520) 388-8300 for further information.