BLM says sniper school would be illegal on its land

1 Nov

A shooter takes aim at Skull Canyon during a demonstration to a KIDK reporter last week. (Screenshot from KIDK)

Over the last few weeks, Michael Buchanan “Buck” Holly has been taking some local media to Clark County’s remote Skull Canyon, to tote what he has described as his “sniper school.” He told Local News 8 last week that the he, and a group of former soldiers, is looking to help Idaho recruits get used to the kind of terrain they might experience in Afghanistan.

From Local News 8:

Along with other experts, Holly runs week-long camps a few times each year for sniper platoons about to deploy to Afghanistan.

“Really really steep, jagged cliffs,” said Holly, “There’s little trails through here like Afghanistan.”

“The lower elevations you have smooth grassy hills, almost no vegetation,” said lead instructor “Shrek,” who asked to be identified only by his code name. “Once you get up in the altitudes, you have these pine forests. This is exactly like Afghanistan.”

Although it might look like Afghanistan, the rules are very different here in America. The BLM said if Holly had researched federal regulations before taking snipers and media out, he would have known that the practice is entirely forbidden.

Holly had hoped to use a mix of BLM, Forest Service and private land for his school, but the rules apply to both the BLM and Forest Service land. The private land is a different matter and is is presumably already cleared for Holly’s use.

Upon hearing the BLM’s position on the issue, Holly said he fears he will be able to train troops on terrain that looks like Afghanistan.

[via AP/Local News 8]

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