July 10 2009, 10:12 AM
Pawnee National Grassland seems more beautiful than ever this year: The grass is tall, green, and flowering, thanks to bucketloads of recent rain, as the Fort Collins Coloradoan points out. And if you visit in coming weeks, the chances of getting your head blown off have just been reduced dramatically. Officials are cracking down on reckless shooters by banning recreational gunfire on 280 acres of the Weld County grassland in the wake of a series of scary near misses:
The closure is a buffer along segments of two roads, located one-quarter mile south of County Road 96 between County Roads 61 and 63 and one-quarter mile west of County Road 63 between County Roads 96 and 94."Despite additional signage, increased patrols and education efforts, irresponsible shooting behavior has escalated," according to a statement printed by The Denver Post, which notes that stray lead has landed near homes. The ban will be revisited in one year and could be extended at that time, according to 7News. While an inconvenience to gun lovers, the closure applies to less than a fifth of the grassland--the rest remains open to target shooters.