GALLATIN GATEWAY, Mont. – Residents from around Bozeman and Big Sky put on work gloves and grabbed a garbage bag to clean up the shooting range at Red Cliff on Saturday as a part of the national initiative, Change Your Range.
James Christiansen organized this event after he found out the outdoor range where his grandfather taught him how to shoot was shut down due to the amount of waste left behind. He hopes by cleaning up the spent shell casings, outdoor ranges will stay open and safe.
“These sites will be gone in 10 years if we are not taking care of them, and our kids and grandkids won’t be able to shoot on these sites,” said Christiansen. “So if we can bolster that idea with those guys we can teach our kids to clean up after ourselves so we can continue to do this for generations.”
Leftover casings and other garbage not only have a visual impact but can lead to future problems.
“That trash can end up in your waterways, it can affect wildlife. You know, there are all kinds of smaller effects that can be found from garbage out there,” said Cody Yeatts with the U.S. Forest Service.
Zero In Indoor Shooting Center partnered for the event, with hopes of reminding people of the consequences their actions leave behind.
“Whether you are walking by and there is no one around and you pick up a piece of garbage or whether you throw one down, that says a lot about who you are as a person,” said Zero In Marketing Manager Lee Williams. “And to me, for the next person to come by and see that piece of garbage laying there that tells me what kind of person was there before them and I don’t think that is something as human beings we should be portraying.”
Once the volunteers were finished cleaning the different shooting ranges they were given a free lunch, a chance to win raffle prizes, and the chance to practice their shooting at Zero In.