Target shooting, fireworks banned at Parks rest stop

Posted: Sunday, May 05, 2002

PALMER (AP) -- The Bureau of Land Management has banned target shooting and the discharge of fireworks at the Knik River access off the Glenn Highway.

The area, sometimes referred to as ''Rambo Rest Stop,'' has been a graveyeard for old appliances and other debris hauled out onto a lake then used as shooting targets.

The BLM wants to stop unsafe shooting and fireworks discharges, according to officials, although legal hunting will continue to be allowed in the wetlands there. The acreage is in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, where fireworks are already illegal except in the city of Houston.

Last fall, the agency put up a fence to keep the debris out, but it failed to stop the problem. The state later closed the exit entirely and set up blockades.

Teresa McPherson, a BLM spokeswoman, said her agency needed to do something because boaters and licensed hunters have been put at risk from bullets whizzing by.

Fireworks have caused wildfires in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, she said, and the area and lake have become contaminated from trash and lead shot, which poses a threat to waterfowl and other wildlife.

BLM law enforcement officers plan to patrol the area.

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