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Utah County officials place restrictions on target shooting in light of several fires

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Burn scars from the Orchard Fire remain on portions of the northeastern area of West Mountain on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Isaac Hale Daily Herald

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A discarded can remains among a burn scar left on the northeastern area of West Mountain from the Orchard Fire on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Isaac Hale Daily Herald


Due to high fire danger and several incidences of human-caused fires, Utah County officials announced restrictions on target shooting in western parts of the county near Utah Lake.

In Utah, closed fire season began on June 1 and will continue through the end of October. Since the beginning of June, however, fire officials have responded to hundreds of wildfires throughout the state. A vast majority, according to officials, have been human caused.

This active fire season is due to an abundance of dried-out vegetation brought on by a combination of last year’s wet winter and spring and this year’s dry weather conditions.

Additionally, the popularity of exploding targets has caused a sharp increase in the number of reported wildfires. On June 15, an exploding target was the cause of a small wildfire on Lake Mountain. That fire was one of five caused by exploding targets in a five-day period.

“Target shooting in general, and the exploding targets, has been a huge concern and a big issue,” said Kaitlyn Webb, a wildfire communications specialist with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, in a previous interview. “We’ve had an incredibly high number of those over even just the past week.”

According to the fire restriction order, the state forester and county sheriff met to determine what actions to take in order to prevent additional wildfires in the area.

These restrictions will effect the areas directly west of Utah Lake, including Lake Mountain, and on West Mountain above 4,500 feet of elevation. All unincorporated private and all state lands are included in the order.

The Soldier Pass Public Shooting Range on Lake Mountain will be exempt from these restrictions. The south lane is expected to open Saturday, while the rest of the range will remain closed.

The order prohibits three main activities, including the use of any steel core, jacketed or tipped ammunition of any caliber; the use of any tracer or incendiary ammunition of any caliber; and the possession or use of any kind of explosives, incendiary or chemical devices, or exploding targets.

Any violations of the order will also be considered a violation of state law and will be enforced by county law enforcement. Violators could be subject to up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The order began after midnight on June 23 and will remain in effect for two weeks. After the 14 days, the order will be reviewed and either renewed or rescinded depending on fire danger, according to the document.


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Action Target

Action Target is a manufacturer of custom shooting ranges and portable steel targets for military, law enforcement, Special Forces groups, tactical training schools, and commercial applications based in Provo, Utah.[5][6][7] Since its founding in 1985, Action Target has increased its inventory to include over 4,000 products. The company designs, delivers, and installs indoor and outdoor range equipment throughout the world.

Mike Birch has been Chief Operating Officer since 2014. His predecessor, John Curtis, was a partner in the firm who was elected the mayor of Provo in 2008 and U.S. Representative for Utah's 3rd congressional district in 2016.[8][9][10]


Action Target was founded in 1986 by Kyle Bateman and Addison Sovine to address a need they saw with law enforcement training,[2] and operated out of Bateman's bedroom at first.[5] They soon moved to a larger facility near the Interstate 15 freeway in Provo before moving to a manufacturing facility nearby next to a residential neighborhood.[2]

In 1989, the company moved into manufacturing facilities on the west side of Provo on a property formerly housed a wrecking yard. Throughout the next fifteen years, Action Target expanded and built several large buildings to house its manufacturing. In late 2003 or early 2004, the company donated land to Provo City in order to extend the street and provide an alternate route for delivery trucks, as well as offering to purchase properties to create a buffer zone between its facilities and those of residential neighbors.[4]

The company produced two bullet-proof training villages for use by the U.S. Army in 2005, a contract worth $3 million. U.S Congressman, Chris Cannon, participated in a demonstration of a similar facility created for use by Utah County police departments, including those from Provo, Brigham Young University, and Orem.[11]

In 2007, the city of Provo began consideration of purchasing the property where Action Target was located in west Provo. The property owned by the company in west Provo was approved for purchase by the end of that same year.[13] The city of Provo then approved several bonds in November as incentives for Action Target to move to a new industrial park in the southeast corner of the city.[7][14]

The new industrial business park is the former home of an iron mill closed down in the 1960s.[15] Provo City allowed Action Target to use its tax-exempt status to help secure financing for the costs of moving and building the new facility in the industrial park. The industrial park was part of an infrastructure improvement paid for by a $2 million federal grant.[3]

After breaking ground in September 2008,[16] the company began building a new facility which significantly increased its office space and manufacturing capacity. The new building allowed the company to have all their facilities in one location.[17] They began moving into the new facility in August 2009 and officially opened the new facility in November that same year.[18]


Action Target has built some of the largest shooting ranges in the world, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the range at the FBI Academy, Sûreté du Québec, the United States Secret Service, and the Los Angeles Police Department Training Center.[2][6] Between 2000 and 2008, the company was awarded $42.9 million in US government contracts.[19][20] In late 2004, the company completed an 11-building training facility for use in Iraq by the multi-national forces stationed there.[21] The company trains members of law enforcement agencies from around the world, according to its website.[22]

Environmental impact[edit]

Residential neighbors of Action Target's former facilities in west Provo often complained to police and to the city council in 2004 and 2005 about noise, paint fumes, and other pollution,[4][11][23] as well as damage caused to fences by delivery trucks[11][24] and firing of guns for testing.[25] The company has been cited on at least one occasion.[15][26]

Provo City followed up in June 2004 with a list of issues with which the company had to comply.[27] Two local residents photographed employees of Action Target painting outside in September 2005, which they claimed was against the zoning for the area. The residents were members of a neighborhood watch program, and one was later dismissed from the program by the Provo Police.[28] The new facility in southeast Provo is in an industrial business park with no residential areas nearby.[17]

Action Target was mentioned in a 2009 USA Today report as emitting the chemical xylene,[29] which has been shown to cause many different negative health effects.


  1. ^"Management Team". Action Target. Archived from the original on March 4, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. ^ abcdLeong, Grace (March 14, 2004). "Action Target aims to improve shooting range equipment". The Daily Herald. p. E1. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  3. ^ abLeong, Grace (November 21, 2007). "Provo supports $9M bond for Action Target". The Daily Herald. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  4. ^ abcHill, Justin (February 7, 2004). "Residents voice concern over business". The Daily Herald. p. D4. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  5. ^ abDana, Jens (June 30, 2008). "Action Target breaks ground for new facility". Deseret Morning News. Archived from the original on August 3, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  6. ^ ab"About Action Target". Action Target. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  7. ^ ab October 22, 2011. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011
  8. ^Meyers, Donald W. (December 31, 2009). "Meet the new mayor of Provo: John Curtis". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on March 13, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  9. ^Walch, Tad (December 7, 2008). "Curtis will run for Provo mayor". Deseret Morning News. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  10. ^Bloch, Matthew; Lee, Jasmine (August 16, 2017). "Utah Election Results: Curtis Wins Republican Primary for U.S. House Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  11. ^ abcWalch, Tad (August 25, 2005). "Cannon joins raid, fires gun at target . . ". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  12. ^Billings, Lewis K. (January 17, 2008). "Partial List of Accomplishments for 2007 by Department and/or Division". Provo City. Archived from the original on 2011-02-01. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  13. ^Leong, Grace (November 20, 2007). "UPDATE: Provo votes to support $9M bond for Action Target". The Daily Herald. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  14. ^ abJohnson, Nathan (July 30, 2007). "Provo OKs $3.3M deal with target company". The Daily Herald. p. A1. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  15. ^"Action target". Utah Business. September 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  16. ^ abOlson, Debbi (October 6, 2008). "Shooting range manufacturer to more than double size in Provo". The Enterprise. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  17. ^"Local Industry News and Notes". The Daily Herald. November 12, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  18. ^"ACTION TARGET INC/ATI - PROVO, UT - $6,208,122 in Defense Contracts in 2008". December 31, 2008. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  19. ^"Proven Solutions". Action Target (Promotional booklet). Provo, Utah: Action Target. 2008. pp. 3–4.
  20. ^Hill, Justin (November 2, 2004). "Provo company finishes project for troops". The Daily Herald. p. D1. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  21. ^"Law Enforcement Training Camp". Action Target. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  22. ^Hill, Justin (April 18, 2004). "Provo business has some in an uproar". The Daily Herald. p. C1. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  23. ^Baker, Sylvia (May 12, 2004). "Action Target poses safety hazards in neighborhood". The Daily Herald. p. A6. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  24. ^Taylor, Jenny (May 21, 2004). "Action Target making life dangerous for neighbors". The Daily Herald. p. A6. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  25. ^Johnson, Rashae Ophus (September 27, 2005). "Company denies zoning violation". The Daily Herald. p. D1. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  26. ^Hill, Justin (September 23, 2005). "Action Target obeys request that it file for permit". The Daily Herald. p. D2. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  27. ^Johnson, Rashae Ophus (September 23, 2005). "Complaints leave residents fuming". The Daily Herald. p. D1. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  28. ^"Action Target: Industry: All Other Miscellaneous Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing". USA Today. 2009. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°11′34″N111°37′08″W / 40.1929°N 111.6188°W / 40.1929; -111.6188

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A rendering of the small-format Target opening at Riverside Plaza in fall 2018. (Rendering courtesy of Target)

The wait is finally over for Provo residents — Target is opening a small-format store in Provo, the retail company announced Tuesday morning.

Target is filling the vacant Big Lots storefront at Riverside Plaza shopping center, located at 1290 N. State St. On its website, Target says the Provo location will open in the fall of 2018.

“Our residents have hoped for a Target for very long time, and we are so excited to welcome this store to Provo,” said Michelle Kaufusi, mayor of Provo, in a press release.  “The store will be a retail destination for students and families alike, making it an excellent addition to the Riverside Plaza shopping center and to our community.”

Since 2014, Target has been creating small-format stores to better serve communities where traditional-sized Target stores may not fit. Provo’s proximity to Brigham Young University’s campus made the location at the intersection of Bulldog Blvd. a good fit for Utah’s first small-format store. Target is on track to have 130 small-format stores operating by the end of 2019.

“Our first small-format store in Utah will offer BYU students and area residents a convenient, one-stop shopping experience that offers the best of Target custom-tailored for local guests. We design our campus stores to meet the unique needs of the neighborhood, and we look forward to making shopping easy and inspiring for students and families in the Cougar community,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president, Properties, Target in a press release.

The small-format Target — which is approximately 26,100 sq. ft. — will have a variety of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, campus attire, baby and kids products, toys, sporting goods, beauty assortment, dorm and apartment essentials, wellness offerings, grab-and-go items, portable technology products and more.

Besides in-store shopping, the Provo Target will offer Order Pickup, a service that gives guests added convenience and security to buy online and pickup in store.

The BYU Target will hire up to 50 team members.

There are two other stores located in Utah County in Orem and American Fork.

Rebecca Lane
Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

Shop With A Cop - Utah County - 12/09/17

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Campfires and target shooting with a firearm temporarily banned on Utah wildlife management areas due to wildfire concerns

Salt Lake City — Due to extreme drought and wildfire danger, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is temporarily banning campfires and recreational target shooting with a firearm on its 146 wildlife management areas (WMAs) across the state.

Wildlife management areas help minimize and mitigate wildlife depredation on private property, and are vital to providing important winter ranges and feeding grounds for many wildlife species, including big game. These lands are purchased and managed using the money generated by fishing and hunting license sales. Because wildfires can destroy essential wildlife habitat, this temporary ban will protect Utah's wildlife management areas.

Wildlife Management Area fire danger sign

"Significant resources go toward improving the habitat in these wildlife and waterfowl management areas to make them more beneficial for a variety of wildlife species, which is why these proactive, preventative measures are so important," DWR Director Rory Reynolds said. "Protecting these resources from wildfire is crucial for wildlife and is a huge benefit for anglers, hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts who utilize these properties."

Effective immediately and until fire conditions improve, target shooting with firearms is not allowed on any WMAs, except for in the established shooting range areas on the following three WMAs:

  • Big Hollow WMA
  • Fillmore WMA
  • Hobble Creek WMA

The temporary restriction only applies to target shooting with a firearm on the WMAs — legal possession of a firearm and hunting are not affected.

Campfires of any kind, including portable fire pits, are not allowed on any of the WMAs during the temporary ban. Fireworks and explosives are never allowed on any WMA in Utah.

Gov. Spencer Cox issued three executive orders this year declaring a state of emergency due to drought conditions and issuing a ban on fireworks on state lands. As of June 9, there had been 330 wildfires across the state, 284 of which were human caused. The DWR's temporary ban is being issued in an effort to decrease the risk of wildfires being started.

"With the extreme dry conditions, any spark can start a fire," DWR Habitat Section Chief Eric Edgley said. "With firearm target shooting, sparks from metal targets aren't the only threat — a bullet or other projectile glancing off a rock is all it takes to cause a spark and a fire. Last year, two large wildfires on WMAs burned several hundred acres of wildlife habitat and were started by target shooting with firearms. Obviously, campfires and fireworks also create sparks that can cause wildfires."

DWR conservation officers will be enforcing the temporary restrictions at WMAs statewide. Visitors to the areas are encouraged to keep their eyes open and to report any campfires, fireworks or any firearm target shooting by calling the UTIP hotline at 1-800-662-DEER (3336), submitting through the UTDWR Law Enforcement app or by texting 847411.

The campfire and firearm target shooting restrictions are temporary and will be evaluated throughout the fire season. During the temporary restrictions on recreational firearm target shooting, Utahns still have several options available for target shooting. DWR has two public shooting ranges — Lee Kay and Cache Valley — and there are a variety of public and private indoor and outdoor shooting ranges throughout Utah. Find your nearest shooting range by visiting the DWR website.

Statewide fire restriction information and wildfire prevention tips can be found on

Closing a Section of the Lake Mountains in Utah County to Target Shooting


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