DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife will award $635,000 to six shooting and archery ranges across Colorado through the agency's Shooting and Range Development Grant Program (SRDG). The funds will go toward developing new places to shoot and upgrading existing ranges.
SRDG supports the establishment, improvement and expansion of safe shooting facilities in Colorado and is one of the largest programs in the nation. Since 2012, SRDG has awarded more than $2.9 million in funding to 60 shooting and archery ranges in Colorado.
The program's funds come from federal excise taxes generated by the sale of hunting and shooting equipment, in addition to funds generated by license fees. Each local project partner commits funds for the various projects.
Each year, SRDG maximizes its impact by providing matching grants to towns, counties, outdoor recreation organizations, shooting clubs, parks and recreation departments and others. These projects establish, improve or expand shooting ranges and shooting areas - including archery ranges - throughout the state. The six projects approved for funding this year include more than $280,000 in local matching funds.
"We're returning sportsmen dollars to shooting range facilities, plus really leveraging those dollars," said Jim Guthrie, CPW's SRDG coordinator.
Guthrie said there are some very special projects being funded this year, including the next phase of the Devil's Nose project, where an abandoned quarry near Mount Evans is being transformed into a formal shooting area.
"With closures happening more and more up and down the Front Range, this is part of an effort to develop new shooting areas, and to organize and save shooting areas that people can use for free," Guthrie said.
This year, the SRDG grant will also fund trap and skeet ranges as well as an archery range at the Logan County Shooting Sports Complex.
"This range is unique," said Todd Schmidt, area wildlife manager for the northeast region of the state. "It has a long range rifle range, a standard rifle range, as well as ranges for pistol, shotgun and archery. Whatever your shooting desires are, Logan County offers it. And with a range of this size, you're drawing people from many counties who help out the city of Sterling by buying meals, gas, overnight stays for tournaments, or just buying range supplies.
Shooting sports make an economic impact.
In the United States, the economic impact of the sporting arms and ammunition industry totals more than $42 billion and creates more than 263,000 jobs. The Pittman-Robertson excise tax the industry pays on the products it sells is a major source of wildlife conservation funding in Colorado and nationwide.
The Shooting Range Development Grants awarded in 2017 include:
Prator Range, Trinidad (part 2)
Construction of HESCO barriers on 50-yard range and 100-yard range
Gold Camp, Teller County (part 2)
New 400-yard range and trap/skeet range
Pikes Peak Gun Club, Colorado Springs (part 4)
New shooting benches
Devil's Nose Shooting Area, Clear Creek County (part 3)
Build out of new range
Logan County Shooting Sports Complex, Sterling
Trap and skeet ranges, archery range
Routt County Shooting Club Classroom, Steamboat Springs
Expand and upgrade existing classroom building