Partner Updates as of spring 2019
PRESS RELEASE – The Partnership continues to meet regularly and is working together to identify additional alternatives to the Forest Plan Amendment for U.S. Forest Service consideration. In addition, all Partners have signed a Cooperative Agency Agreement which allows a greater flow of data and information to and from all agencies. (http://www.sportshootingpartners.org/resources/)
Forest Service (Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests)
Recreational Sport Shooting Project: The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland released its final decision on the Recreational Sport Shooting (RSS) Management Project on June 13, 2019. View the full press release at (www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD638098 ). This collaborative project aims to provide safe, responsible and accessible recreational sport shooting opportunities while providing for public health and safety. The signing of the final decision does not close any new areas until the first public shooting range opens. This decision does not affect lawful hunting with a firearm in areas where it is currently allowed.
Devil’s Nose Designated Shooting Area Implementation:
Construction is ongoing at the Devil’s Nose Shooting Range along Colo. Highway 103 near Idaho Springs, and new restrictions are in place for the duration of construction activities. For everyone’s safety, the area within a half-mile of the construction site north and west of Hwy 103 is now closed to the public for all uses. See the full USFS press release at (www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD598270 ).
Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has awarded $725,000 to eight shooting ranges across Colorado through the agency’s Shooting Range Development Grant Program (SRDG). The funds will go toward developing new shooting ranges and to upgrade existing ranges. This funding will be supporting projects within the Partnership’s purview. See the full press release about the grants for more information. (https://mailchi.mp/283f0600134f/cpw-announces-development-grant-awards-for-shooting-ranges)
Larimer County continues to look for opportunities to enhance and partner with other agencies and private landowners to provide safe shooting ranges for the public.
Clear Creek County
Clear Creek County continues to work to identify partner funding for the Devil’s Nose Shooting Range. The county is also having some renewed conversations about locating another appropriate site for a shooting range. Clear Creek County is in the process of engaging a new recreational management program that will include a Recreation Patrol Sheriff Deputy to assist with user contacts in the back-country.
Clear Creek County is also looking to take an area that used to be a fairgrounds and convert it into a public shooting range. The site is next to an existing private range, so any additional impact should be minimal. The planning grant from CPW will help Clear Creek make that idea a reality.
Boulder County has been exploring two possible sites for two shooting ranges that would be accessible to the public. One is a privately owned quarry east of Lyons. County staff has met with the Town of Lyons Board of Trustees on three occasions and conducted a tour of the quarry site and is committed to working closely with the town. Boulder County is in the very early stages of discussing the quarry site with the property owner.
The second site involves the expansion of the Boulder Rifle Club. The county has provided a letter of support and half of the 25% match for a range design grant Boulder Rifle Club recently submitted. If these locations are deemed feasible then they will have to go through Boulder County’s Special Use Review application process which entails public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners. The Boulder Rifle Club received a CPW grant for $300,000 to provide funding to start the initial construction of a new range in order to build out and provide more public opportunity at the club in the future.
Gilpin County continues to seek and evaluate potential sites for a shooting range. The county is researching options both on public and private land, and although it is a very small county with mountainous terrain, staff hopes to find a suitable range site in 2019.