COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Recreational shooting is no longer allowed on 9,567 acres of land in the Pike National Forest.

The new rule went into effect on July 7, 2014 and prohibits discharging a firearm, air rifle or gun.

The affected land is in El Paso County in the area surrounding Mount Herman Road (Forest Service Road 320) from Monument west to the Teller County line.

The forest service says this area does not provide for safe or reasonable recreational shooting due to the steep terrain and the large number of people who recreate in the area.

“My focus is on ensuring public and resource protection while more than 94 percent of the PSICC remains open to this sport. This closure will improve the overall safety for visitors to the PSICC," said Erin Connelly, Forest and Grassland Supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC).

The forest service says the volume of recreational shooting along Mount Herman Road has increased significantly in recent years due to the area's proximity to Colorado Springs and Denver, which is why the change is being made now.

The change does not impact people with valid State of Colorado hunting licenses who are actively involved in hunting during an open season.