OGDEN — Old television sets doubling as targets for gun enthusiasts have made a return to an area on U.S. Forest Service land popular among target shooters.
“I don’t know what it is about TVs and TV screens, but people like to shoot them,” Sean Harwood said Monday. Harwood heads the U.S. Forest Service‘s Ogden Ranger District, which includes the Weber County section of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and more.
Littering, blazing of unauthorized trails and more have been growing concerns on Forest Service land in Utah as the population has surged and the public increasingly seeks respite in the area’s wild lands. However, use of televisions and old computer monitors for target practice, perhaps, stands out as one of the messier misdeeds. Harwood said Forest Service Fire Prevention Officer Michael Erickson came across the TV sets over the weekend in an area used by gun enthusiasts north of Eden off the Avon-Liberty Road in the Ogden Valley.
“This has been a repeating incident for years. Trash includes furniture, electronics (TVs, computers), lots of glass bottles, wood pallets and occasionally dead animals. Almost every week a large bag of trash could be collected and sometimes a truckload,” Erickson said in an email.
Erickson and other Forest Service workers regularly patrol Forest Service land collecting trash. That littering never seemingly ends, making Harwood sometimes think about stopping clean-up efforts so the public can see the impact left by the minority of those who don’t properly care for the land, he thinks.
“Maybe we ought to stop doing that and just let it pile up and let the people see how it gets,” Harwood said. “It shouldn’t be our job to pick up after people.”
Officials will probably continue clean-up initiatives, though, he said.
Erickson gathered the TV sets and other trash he found at the target-shooting area about a mile uphill from the Liberty Gun Range and left it along the side of the road for later retrieval. When he returned, the television screens had been further destroyed by others, making more of a mess, which he cleaned.
Target shooting is legal on Forest Service land. Forest Service officials just ask that the public collect their trash.