By ROSS SELLERS/Montana State News
Any shooter hoping to get some target practice in at Hyalite Canyon can expect a $100 fine due to the recent shooting restriction put in place by the Custer Gallatin National Forest Service, according to Lisa Stoeffler, Bozeman District ranger.
Stoeffler said the primary reason for this closure is safety, citing the density of recreation sites (475 developed sites, 185 dispersed camping sites, 70 miles of trail and 65 miles of road) in the Hyalite drainage. Stoeffler said it was almost “impossible to get a safe distance between recreational shooters and the rest of the recreating public.”
According to a press release issued March 8 by the Custer Gallatin National Forest Service, the restriction for target shooting in the Hyalite Canyon will go into effect on April 20, and will remain in place throughout the year, but it will not affect hunting in Hyalite.
Stoeffler also said, “the response to the shooting closure has been overwhelmingly supportive,” because many believed that there is too much public use in Hyalite for shooting to be safe.