Legal steps have been taken in order to help protect the Los Padres National Forest against target shooting. A judge approved a temporary ban against unmanaged target shooting in the forest including the Glass Factory.
In an area that seems so peaceful unregulated target shooting echoes through Los Padres National Forest, and has for decades.
“The Los Padres National Forest watch has documented these practices at over 100 locations throughout the forest and the problem is it brings a lot of litter, contamination, and public safety risk as well as threats of wild fires,” said Maggie Hall, a staff attorney at the Environmental Defense Center.
The issue went to court last year as the Forest Service teamed up with a Santa Barbara based conservation group to regulate target shooting. Last week a settlement meant significant changes.
“We recently reached an agreement with the forest service were they agreed to a temporary ban on target shooting in those undesignated areas, as well as studying the impacts that it has on local wildlife,” said Hall.
Now, areas like The Glass Factory is prohibited. Once you step inside, you understand why. Miles of bullet casings and debris can be seen throughout the forest.
“We have been hoping for this for a long time,” said Hall. “It is sad to see the damage it has caused throughout the forest. There are trees that have been shot entirely through and killed, and it is also really important for us to feel safe in the forest, for us to go out hiking. A lot of these activities occur near campsites trails, along really special water ways.”
The temporary ban is set until January of 2020, but legal hunting with a valid license is not affected. Target shooting can continue at Ojai Valley Gun Club as well as Winchester Canyon.
“It is definitely a win for the Earth and so we are happy to celebrate that,” said Hall.