Groups protest plan for Sonoran Desert monument

Groups protest plan for Sonoran Desert monument

CREATED Jul 17, 2012

Web Producer: Taylor Avey

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Conservation groups are questioning a proposal to allow recreational target shooting throughout the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has released a proposal to manage 1.4 million acres in south-central Arizona, which include the monument.

The groups say the BLM hasn't explained its rationale for allowing target shooting and filed a protest by the Monday deadline.

Monument manager Rich Hanson said Tuesday that the agency believes it can manage the recreational sport without a blanket ban across the monument.

The groups further allege that the BLM's proposal could harm cultural resources and that its road system is inadequate.

The BLM is under a court mandate to finalize the plan by September 15.

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