The Santa Fe National Forest’s Española Ranger District is proposing a 10-year extension of its prohibition on target shooting on the Caja del Rio’s eastern boundary.

“Shooting a firearm within the National Forest is allowed; however, in order to protect adjacent property owners, the area has been closed since May 24, 2001,” says Deputy Public Affairs Director Lawrence Lujan in a release. “Due to an increase in development on private land near the forest boundary, there is a greater need to enforce the closure to keep residents safe.”

The proposal would restrict discharging firearms, rifles or gas guns in the restricted area, says a memo from District Ranger Sanford Hurlocker, but exemptions to the rule include people with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or law enforcement officers. The closure only affects Forest Service land. 

Because the closure period is more than a year, officials are required to take public comment on the proposal. The proposed closure area runs along the eastern border of the forest parallel to Old Buckman Road and near Las Campanas. Forest officials are taking public comment until April 19. Interested parties can direct their comments—which will be put into public record—at: or by fax, 505-793-9411.