A major new shooting complex at Ft. Carson in El Paso County was one of 13 projects to be awarded a total of $500,000 in Colorado Parks and Wildlife shooting range grants for the 2012 funding cycle.

The Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex received a commitment of $200,000 in matching funding for this grant cycle. The facility is to be constructed in three phases, with the first phase opening to the public this fall and including 90 shooting positions for rifles and handguns. The Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Army and El Paso County with assistance and funding from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“We’ve been looking for a spot for a shooting range in the area since the Rampart Range was shut down several years ago,” said Dan Prenzlow, co-regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in southeast Colorado. “To be able to partner with El Paso County and Ft. Carson to get a range convenient to Interstate 25 is a major success and we’re glad to be involved.”

In addition to the 2012 funding for the Cheyenne Mountain facility, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Shooting Range Development Grant Review Panel recommended funding for a dozen additional projects including the Chaffee County Archery Range, Crowley County Shooting Range, Eagle Lakes Camp in Colorado Springs, Fort Lupton Shooting Range, Four Corners Shooting Range in Cortez, Quail Run Shooting Range in Kiowa, Colorado Clays in Brighton and public ranges in Mesa County, Longmont, Nucla and Sedalia. The Colorado Shooting Sports Foundation was awarded matching funds for a mobile shooting trailer that can travel to provide shooting programs at high schools, 4-H and scouting events and hunter education classes. Combined with local matching funds, the approved projects represent an investment of more than $1 million in shooting and archery ranges.

“We are committed to joining with communities, organizations and recreationists to ensure that safe and accessible shooting ranges are operated around the state,” said Rick Cables, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Colorado’s program is one of, if not the largest state-sponsored shooting range development grant program in the nation. I can’t think of clearer evidence of the high priority we place on developing the widest range of shooting and archery opportunities.”

The Shooting Range Development Grant Program was first announced in 2009 and has approved approximately $2 million to aid 25 projects to develop new shooting ranges or improve existing ranges across Colorado. Matching funds can be used for berms, backstops, fencing, signage, parking or other range components. Acquisition of property for construction of new shooting ranges is also eligible for funding. Project applicants must provide nonfederal matching funds, donated materi­als or volunteer labor to cover at least 25 percent of the project cost. Funding for the program comes from Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunting and fishing license revenues and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hunter Education and Wildlife Restoration Programs.

Below is a complete list of the grant recipients for the 2012 funding cycle:

Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex, construction of new range, $200,000

  • Crowley County Shooting Range, range improvements, $9,000
  • Eagle Lakes Camp – Colorado Springs, renovation and expansion, $16,000
  • Colorado Clays – Brighton, new handgun and rifle lanes, $110,000
  • Columbine Archery Range – Sedalia, new targets and storage shed, $13,000
  • Chaffee County Archery Range, range improvements, $12,000
  • Fort Lupton Shooting Range, design and public outreach for new range, $25,000
  • Four Corners Shooting Range – Cortez, construction of dedicated youth range, $5,300
  • Longmont Shooting Range, restrooms at new indoor range, $50,000
  • Nucla Shooting Range, reconfigure range to improve safety, $9,700
  • Mesa County public ranges on BLM land, upgrades to existing ranges, $20,000
  • Quail Run Shooting Range – Kiowa, new ranges and parking, $10,000
  • Colorado Shooting Sports Foundation, mobile shooting trailer, $20,000

Additional details about the Shooting Range Development Program, including information about the application process, can be found at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/ShootingRanges/ShootingRangeGrants/Page /RangeGrants.aspx.

Logo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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