Pa.

News for Immediate Release

October 25, 2011

Public Meeting to Address Future of Michaux State Forest Shooting Range

Harrisburg – The state Bureau of Forestry has scheduled a Nov. 1 public meeting to seek input on the future of a target shooting range that operated for six years in Michaux State Forest before it was closed in June 2010.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the Buchanan Valley Fire Hall on Route 234, three miles north of Route 30 in Adams County. Written comment also will be accepted through Nov. 15 by the bureau as it decides the next step governing the range on Birch Run Road.

The range was well-received by shooters when it opened in 2004, but was closed by the bureau in June 2010 amid widespread littering and disregard for range safety and protocol, maintenance issues and lead contamination concerns at the site adjoining Long Pine Reservoir, Chambersburg’s municipal water supply.

“A task force has studied this issue at length, focusing on both the range problems and possible options,” said Bureau of Forestry Director Dan Devlin. “Its findings are detailed in a 40-page report, but we want to engage the public formally and hear what it wants before we make a final decision.”

The task force, which is comprised of two DCNR employees, three shooters who used the range and a sixth person questioning environmental safety, has outlined several scenarios for the range’s future. Should the range resume operation, the group called for strong user-group commitment to cleanup and maintenance. Future use should be limited to shooters possessing valid Pennsylvania hunting licenses, the task force said.

Essentially, the task force presented the bureau with four options:

The task force's 40-page Target Range Report can be found online at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/stateforests/michaux/index.htm.

Written comments will be accepted until Nov. 15. Mail to: Bureau of Forestry, District 1, 10099 Lincoln Way East, Fayetteville, PA, 17222-9609; or email to Fd01@pa.gov.

A follow-up report summarizing public comment will be issued by Michaux District Forester Roy Brubaker.

Including Adams, York and sections of Cumberland and Franklin counties, the Michaux district includes more than 85,000 acres of state forestland known for several top-quality trout streams, a wealth of historic iron furnaces, and hundreds of miles of trails and state forest roads.

Besides public recreation and timber, potable water is among the Michaux district's most valuable resources, with numerous local communities depending on its pure water for municipal supplies.

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101

###