Training Ground To Kill Humans “Not Authorized” Use Of Forest Service Land

A disturbing story appeared in the Eastern Idaho media over the weekend detailing the “perfect location” for a commercial for profit venture to teach the intricacies of high altitude killing.

According to the Post Register story, a guy named Buck Holly has determined that Skull Canyon on the Caribou-Targhee in Clark County is an ideal spot to teach sniper training because it approximates Afghanistan’s rugged mountain terrain.

According to the story, the retired Marine is seeking customers like the U.S. Army so he can share the skills he learned during his service time.

Forest Supervisor Brent Larson told the GUARDIAN,”This is absolutely NOT an authorized use of National Forest land.”

“I was blind sided when I saw the story in the paper and sent the local ranger to Skull Canyon where he discovered a gate at the forest boundary warning of the danger and discouraging visitors in the area,” said Larson. He indicated the closed gate was not installed or closed by the Forest Service.

“We have our law enforcement people working on it, but this guy or his company have never contacted my office. In the past for very limited purposes we would allow military operations with a written agreement for things like survival training, but to have live fire right at the start of hunting season is not something we would approve,” added Larson.

Based on the Post Register story and TELEVISION reports, it appears reporters have been to the area and even fired weapons. The local sheriff and a deputy were reportedly paid by Holly to “secure the area.”

No word if the sheriff used county-owned radios, vehicles and equipment or where the money from Holly ended up.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.
Forest Supervisor Larson noted there is some private land within the forest, but said, “Operations were being conducted from both the private land and public land.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Have thee a link?

    EDITOR NOTE–Sorry, they are a subscription only outfit.

  2. Our sources claim it was on private land.

    EDITOR NOTE–Thornberry is editor of the Post Register.

  3. I guess it is no longer “cool” enough to kill the animal. The
    “in thing” now is doing it at 6,7,8 or 900 yards. I just wish it was 6 feet and you had to use a spear!

  4. Good reporters VERIFY “claims”. Maybe a look at the County Assesor’s map? pretty simple.

    EDITOR NOTE–Can’t tell if you are sniping at the GUARDIAN or the Eastern Idaho media. The GUARDIAN doesn’t argue there are “patented mining claims,” we quoted the forest service super who told us they were operating on forest service land as well as the private parcel. Another reporter was told by the head sniper they have never had a paying customer, but the TV newsie reported “dozens” of customers. We think there will be more on this story.

  5. Here’s my take on this.. if we can train up our people to better survive their ordeal and come back home alive with all their parts and pieces intact where’s the problem? I get heart sick watching the roll of service people killed in action on the PBS NEWS HOUR and feel helpless to do anything about it. We need to get out but in the meantime we need to do everything we can to help insure the safety of our troops while deployed.

    Wars have become the venue of blue collar working class people and their children. I want them all to come back home safe and sound but I know that is not always the case. When asked why we are in Afghanistan I sure can’t give anyone a clear answer. I subscribe to the Powell Doctrine of a clear objective, throw everything you have at it and get the hell out. We are mired down in a hell hole costing billions and billions in treasure, manpower and equipment while accomplishing nothing of value.

    I therefore have no problem with using Idaho as a training facility if it saves just one service members life.

  6. comments were directed to Rob..My bad.

  7. chicago sam
    Nov 1, 2011, 8:14 am

    If the people own it nobody can use it. You can’t even hunt the wily ground squirrel south of Boise–It’s for the birds

  8. Helping our troops save American AND host nation lives overseas? Whats the problem people?
    This organization is dedicated to training professional soldiers and not some group of cowboys out shooting road signs for the fun of it.

    EDITOR NOTE–Eric, not so sure your conclusions are correct. He told one reporter he has never had a paying customer. If he was legit, he would certainly seek permission and notify the Forest Service and BLM.

  9. William Thompson
    Nov 1, 2011, 10:38 am

    A couple things about your story and not getting all the information, Mr. Holly is not a retired Marine, it states in the written article and the video piece that he is a former Marine (all though once a Marine always a Marine), the other instructor (“Shreck”) interviewed for the story is retired from the Army not the Marine Corps. Also I don’t recall anywhere in the video piece do they mention training Civilians, they refer to sniper platoons and troops, customers could simple refer to these entities. The “newsie” appears to be reporting on a story that took place in their area in a totally non-bias manner, where I feel there is some serious bias in the above report.

  10. Grumpy ole guy
    Nov 1, 2011, 2:12 pm

    If you can’t see the problem, it it because you ARE the problem. What part of either free or regulated of public facility by the public is so hard to grasp, fer the luvva god! And, speaking of His love; where do you get off advocating for private sniper training in a society which makes laws against unlawful death and, however ironic it may be, uses the death penalty as punishment for such a breech. Yes, you are the problem and every other lame-brain who can’t think his way clearly through such an issue.

  11. Odd that these mercenaries (Advanced Mountain Sniper Course or Corps Technology Group) have no listing with the Secretary of State. Its clearly a commercial venture and he’s obviously enlisting the aid of the media to advertise to local yokels as is evidenced by that puff piece linked above. No amount of jingoism should disguise this as anything but a for profit venture, particularly where no military application for such services are apparent. This is mercenary training, which usually appeals to guys the military rejected, usually with very good cause. Buck Holly sounds like a porn stage name. This report is interesting. Lots of unanswered questions which just makes them look like charlatans and hucksters.

  12. coyote sniper
    Nov 9, 2011, 7:34 pm

    Buck holly was taking it upon his self to close the forest off to the public for his private venture.I think our military is training our troops.I surely hope so.Also the clark county sheriff was getting paid by holly to secure the area.What if anybody could just start a business on our public land.We wouldnt have any public land nomore.Skull canyon is mostly public land and if you dont think so then why is there forest service signs everywhere.Imagine that a sheriff protecting a lawbreaker.

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