By The Associated Press

Conservation groups are questioning a proposal to allow recreational target shooting throughout the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has released a proposal to manage 1.4 million acres in south-central Arizona, which include the monument.

The groups say the BLM hasn't explained its rationale for allowing target shooting and filed a protest by the Monday deadline.

Monument manager Rich Hanson said Tuesday that the agency believes it can manage the recreational sport without a blanket ban across the monument.

The groups further allege that the BLM's proposal could harm cultural resources and that its road system is inadequate.

The BLM is under a court mandate to finalize the plan by Sept. 15.