Craig Briefs: Byers Canyon Shooting Range opens Wednesday

Byers Canyon Shooting Range opens Wednesday

Hot Sulpher Springs — Colorado Parks and Wildlife will reopen the Byers Canyon Shooting Range in Hot Sulphur Springs on Wednesday.

The popular range, located approximately 2 miles west of Hot Sulphur Springs, closes each year after the hunting seasons end. The property was acquired in 1940 to protect big game winter range.

In keeping with the original intent of that purchase, the range is closed so that big game animals can use the property during that stressful time of year without disturbance.

Shooting enthusiasts from across the state, including many from the Front Range, visit the range each year due to its minimal wait times, the variety of target opportunities and no membership fee requirements.

“Once it opens, shooters can use it seven days a week between sunrise to sunset from early spring to late fall,” Doug Gillham, CPW wildlife technician in Hot Sulphur Springs, said in a statement. “All we ask is that everyone be safe, follow all posted rules, clean up after they are done and use only approved ammunition. Tracer or exploding ammo is not allowed.”

The Byers Canyon Shooting Range features five centerfire rifle ranges of 25, 100 and 200 yards, one .22 caliber rifle range, one shotgun and one handgun range. The range also includes straw bales for archery. Wheelchair access is available at the 25 and 100-yard target range.

The range has limited supervision; however, volunteers are typically present during the summer to assist shooters and provide some enforcement of range rules.
For more information about the Byers Canyon Shooting Range, call the Hot Sulphur Springs office at 970-725-6200 or visit

BLM to hold prescribed burn in Dry Gulch

Rio Blanco County — Fire managers from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit are planning to burn 550 acres of sagebrush in the next couple of weeks if weather and air quality conditions are favorable, according to a press release from the Bureau of Land Management.

The burn is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Meeker near the junction of Rio Blanco County roads 29 and 87 on BLM land. The project is anticipated to last two to three days depending on weather and fuel conditions.

The purpose of the prescribed burn is to reduce the potential for large-scale wildfires by reducing the amount of live and dead fuel accumulation, resulting in lower intensity wildfires and creating age diversity in the sagebrush community to produce a mosaic growth pattern.

Smoke will be visible from local county roads during the implementation of burning operations.

Weather and fuel-moisture conditions will be closely monitored, and the burn will only be initiated if conditions are ideal and allow for safe and efficient operations. Each prescribed burn conducted by the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit has a detailed fire plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from the state of Colorado.

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit is an interagency organization that manages wildfires in Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt Jackson and Grand counties. Cooperating agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM and Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, and the above mentioned counties.

Call Kyle Frary, fire management specialist at 970-878-3862 for more information.

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