Forest Service, BLM Ban Exploding Targets In Northwest

Jul 11, 2013

Federal land managers have banned the use of exploding targets on public lands in the Northwest. The concern is wildfires.

Tannerite is a consumer grade exploding target
Credit Rik Rose / Flickr

Fire investigators suspect exploding targets sparked at least half a dozen wildfires in Washington and Idaho over the past year. The chemical explosives give target shooters instant feedback that they've hit their mark from long range.

The Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. Forest Service is the latest public agency to ban exploding targets. A sister agency, the Bureau of Land Management, has previously banned the exploding jars and discs for the duration of fire season or indefinitely, depending on the state.

The founder of Tannerite Sports based near Eugene claims he invented the consumer grade exploding target. In an email, company president Dan Tanner wrote that he can understand restricting "certain incendiary targets during fire season," but he called the year-round bans "over-the-top ridiculous."

Tanner asserts his product "will not start a fire" when mixed and used correctly. He blames wildfires on "knock-off" products using inferior ingredients. Nonetheless, the Tannerite website urges shooters to respect federal land regulations.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources and Idaho Department of Lands say exploding targets are illegal on state lands too. This May, the Oregon Legislature unanimously passed a ban on tracer ammunition and exploding targets on ODF protected lands during fire season. This ban takes effect next year.

Copyright 2013 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

Fire Prevention Order - Bureau of Land Management 
Tannerite Instructional Video - Tannerite Sports