The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has issued an emergency order to ban recreational shooting on about 5,290 acres of public land near Fishtrap Lake.
The closure is aimed at target shooting that’s been generating increased public complaints and concern from BLM staff, said Scott Pavey, BLM spokesman in Spokane Valley.
Hunting is still allowed in the popular recreation area 30 miles west of Spokane and just south of Interstate 90, Pavey said.
The closed area, which is detailed on maps posted in recent days at the public parking areas, does not include about 3,800 acres of BLM lands farther west of Fishtrap Lake toward the town of Sprague.
“The issue is public safety where birdwatchers or hikers are walking out of the woods on trails into meadows where people are randomly shooting across fields at targets,” Pavey said.
“The amount of shooting going on out there has increased substantially. It’s like shooters are just discovering the area.”
The closure is likely to continue at least until the BLM can finish its area management plan in about two years, Pavey said.See a MAP of the closed an open areas for shooting near Fishtrap Lake.