Colorado Parks and Wildlife has awarded $725,000 to nine 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.
SRDG supports the establishment, improvement and expansion of safe shooting facilities in Colorado and is one of the largest shooting range programs in the nation. Since 2010, SRDG has awarded more than $4.8 million in funding to more than 70 shooting and archery projects across 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. Local partners in the projects also commit at least 25 percent in matching funds for the work.
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 nine projects approved for funding this year include more than $257,000 in local matching funds.
CPW’s SRDG coordinator Jim Guthrie said, “We’re investing sportsmen dollars into shooting range facilities, plus really leveraging those dollars. And with Colorado’s growing population, demand for safe, accessible ranges continues to rise. The SRDG program is a major tool in helping to meet that demand.”
Guthrie said there are some particularly noteworthy projects funded this year, including the Boulder Rifle Club’s addition of a major public shooting range in the greater Denver metro area, a new helice range in Delta, and the expansion of a heavily used public archery range in Windsor.
Kodak Archery Range (Windsor): A heavily used, free, public archery range in the northern Front Range region. The project will expand the existing range, establish a walking archery course, develop additional parking and install shade and storage improvements.
“We are thrilled to have been selected and partner with CPW as we improve access to a lifetime sport in our great outdoors,” said Windsor Public Services Director Eric Lucas. “This award will enable the Town of Windsor to significantly improve our current archery range and turn it into one of the finest in Northern Colorado. When completed, we will be able to provide an expanded learning environment for youth interested in the sport as well as offer increased realism and new experiences for experienced archers.”
Boulder Rifle Club: The proposed range, located 4 miles north of Boulder, will be a major public shooting range addition in the greater Denver metro area and will help address user conflicts in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. “The range will be an important step toward meeting the goals of a multi-agency, multi-county effort to establish safe, organized recreational shooting alternatives along the Front Range,” said Guthrie.
Delta Rifle Club Helice Range: Helice is a trap shooting-like sport, except a plastic cover with wings is attached to the clay pigeon, which results in an erratic and unpredictable flight pattern. The intent is to more closely mimic wild bird flight. The Delta range would be the only helice range on the Western Slope and only the second in Colorado. “This will be a new type of recreational opportunity, and it will be very interesting to see range users’ reaction to it,” said Guthrie.
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 manufacturers pay on the products they sell is a major source of wildlife conservation funding in Colorado and nationwide. Colorado Parks and Wildlife also directs a portion of its Pittman-Robertson funding to the shooting range program.
The Shooting Range Development Grants awarded in 2020 include:
La Junta Rifle Club
New indoor restroom and storage
Sangre Shooting Sports Club
Gold Camp Range, Teller County Shooting Society
New trap and skeet range
Pikes Peak Gun Club
Repairs to rifle range, well, and trap machines
Bear Creek Regional Park, El Paso County
Archery range updates
Kodak Archery Range, Windsor
Walking archery course, parking
Boulder Rifle Club
Construction of new public range
Delta Trap Club
New helice range
South Canyon Archery Range, Glenwood Springs
Shade shelter at archery range
For more information about the Kodak Archery Range, visit recreationliveshere.com/Parks. For more information about Colorado Parks & Wildlife, visit cpw.co.us.