A cleanup of trashed-out shooting sites has been completed in Redington Pass east of Tucson - and events at the pass next weekend will highlight the many recreation opportunities there.
Meanwhile, a group called the Friends of Redington Pass has been formed to help restore and protect the scenic area.
Cleanup crews removed 75 cubic yards - three large dump truck loads - of shooting debris from three dispersed shooting sites along Redington Road, said Heidi Schewel, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.
"The sites remain temporarily closed" to recreational shooting, Schewel said. "The cleanup has been completed, and we are awaiting results from a risk assessment, which will guide our future actions."
MEET ON THE PASS
The public in invited to "information-sharing events" Saturday and Sunday at a new information kiosk near Milepost 4 at the pass.
Schewel said representatives of the Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and Friends of Redington Pass will be on hand to discuss recreation options and development of a management plan for the area.
The area has been popular with recreational shooters, and a proposed managed shooting range in the area is under consideration.
Schewel said the management plan will recognize many other uses beyond shooting - including hiking, hunting, biking, bird-watching, off-highway-vehicle use
and nature study.
FRIENDS GROUP GOALS
Kirk Emerson, president of the Friends of Redington Pass, said the group has come together over the past two years and now has about 50 members.
Members include hikers, bikers, hunters, recreational shooters, horseback riders and others,
She said the group's goals are "to improve conditions in Redington Pass, restore its scenic qualities, protect its natural features, and assure a safe and clean environment for all recreational users."
The group, Emerson said, works in a "collaborative effort" with government agencies.
"We have a formal partnership between our group and the Forest Service," she said.
if you go
• What: Free public information event on Redington Pass, east of Tucson. Government agency representatives and others will discuss recreation and cleanup work in the area.
• When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday. Guided bird-watching walks will begin at 8:30 each morning.
• Where: Events will be at a new information kiosk on the pass. It's near Milepost 4 on Redington Road, about a half mile east of the Lower Tanque Verde Canyon Trailhead. From Tucson, drive east on Tanque Verde Road, which becomes Redington Road as it climbs toward the pass.