Preface: A few days ago Yanqui gave us heads up that the Ben Avery shooting range in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area was up for bid and that a Commission formed by the Arizona Game & Fish was to have a meeting in Flagstaff August 9, 2002. He later posted a reply letting us know he called the Game and Fish and someone told him Ben Avery was not up for sale. Yanqui stated he didn't believe them. After today, now............I'm with Yanqui on that one! I know the future of Ben Avery doesn't DIRECTLY affect the majority of the people in this forum but rather those of us who live around Phoenix and who make the trips there but I wanted to share this with everyone as our ability to safely shoot firearms may be going out with the tide and we might not even know it. I picked up the latest edition of the Desert Advocate (an independent local weekly newspaper) dated August 7, 2002. In it is an article titled boldly "Game and Fish considering sale of Ben Avery Shooting Facility" and reported by Caleb Sopelean and Tom Seemeyer. I was unable to reach either of them to get their permission to scan and publish here their material (although I don't think the article is copyrighted), the following are excepts of their article which I think some might find very interesting if read between some of the lines. "The Desert Advocate has confirmed that Arizona Game and Fish Dept. is considering the sale of Ben Avery Shooting Facility." " According to the Game & Fish the public meeting [in Flagstaff] will be informational only......no final decision on the future of Ben Avery will be rendered." "The Commission will be provided a presentation on the status of various statewide shooting ranges and issues [by an unnamed person or group]." "Joe Janisch, Information Supervisor at Game and Fish, said the state is considering three options for Ben Avery. The third option would be selling Ben Avery and moving further north out of Phoenix." "Michael Anabel, Director of the State Land Dept. [owner of the land on which Ben Avery sits] said, on Tues., Aug. 6. that he was not aware of Ben Avery being considered for sale........." "To comment on the future of Ben Avery, write to Kerry Baldwin, Assistant Director of Information and Education, Arizona Game & Fish Dept., 2221 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85023-4399, or call Don Winslow at 602-789-3229. Comments may be faxed to 602-789-3776." My thoughts are simple. I believe the Game and Fish are trying to side track the citizens to keep them from speaking up (exampled by Yanqui's comments he was told it wa all a rumor) and that the Game and Fish are trying to put bliders on the State Land Dept. who would have a major say so in how or when Game and Fish could pull out. I see this as a clear snow job and the Game and Fish will attempt to pull out Ben Avery even by shady tactics. The article also mentioned, remember, the future of ALL shooting facilities statewide...whoa...that's scary. Later in the article, which I didn't quote, was specific mention of a facility, Bellemont Shooting Range, wherever that is. Equally scary are the comments by Game and Fish that no decision on the selling Ben Avery will be rendered at the meeting (clearly indicating it's been considered) and the Fish and Game Dept. representative's comment that there is one option being considered to sell the range. So, I am still making my call tomarrow and I encourage all the forum members, especially Arizona residents, to write or fax a letter of concern for the future of Ben Avery. What one state does can easily influence other states, particularly referrences to past practices and precedences, of what may become of their shooting facilities.