Last weekend I went out to the National Forest area near where I live for a little rifle shooting. When I go I make it a point to carry out everything I carry in. While I'll pick up most of my brass, I cannot claim to get all of it. However, the most annoying problem at public shooting areas is the stuff a lot of shooters bring to shoot with no intention of cleaning up. These people are for all practical purposes, Litterers. Why not bring portable target stands for cardboard and paper? Maybe a steel silhouette or reactive plate, even biodegradable stuff like fruit, eggs, or cookies that explode when hit. Soda cans and glass are often the most offensive type of targets, not to mention the ubiquitous washing machine or television set. I can understand wanting to use aluminum or steel cans provided they always, without fail, get picked up. However, glass is never a proper object to shoot at on public land. Once, in my county, we had an area near the highway that was used by thousands of weekend plinkers. Over the course of many years, until it was (wisely) closed down, the brown, barren hillsides were home to an assortment of discarded items. After it was posted "No Shooting", and the Forest Service contracted a clean-up, these same hills sparkled with the unnatural glitter of broken glass for quite some time. I used to pass this area occasionally and couldn't help but feel embarrassed by what these ignorant members of the shooting public had done to the natural beauty of this land. I felt guilty of the charges that environmentally sensitive people could legitimately make against recreational shooting. I am amazed that there wasn't a bigger controversy regarding this abuse. Now, a new area has opened up, and except for being away from the road, it suffers the same disrespect. If you have an area like this that you use for plinking , what are your thoughts? Do you pick up after yourself? Others?
It has been my practice, with the exception of last weekend, to simply restrict my shooting to private ranges where this is not an issue. I cannot see being locked into this practice since ranges for rifles are becoming more scarce. Should tax dollars be used to provide men and equipment to close, clean up, and re-open these sites? What about funds from an excise tax imposed on ammunition? Please, offer your comments on this topic. Thank you.