Vermont FWD Makes Grants Available to Shooting Ranges
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A Fish and Wildlife grant program that's creating more access to safe places to shoot is continuing in 2011. Shooting clubs, sportsmen's groups and government agencies involved in operating shooting ranges, including archery ranges, have until 4:30 p.m. on April 1, 2011 to submit applications for grants from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
The Shooting Range Improvement Grant Program was developed in 2010 to encourage the improvement of shooting ranges and to enhance their safety and operation. The grant period begins July 1, 2011.
"This program is both a great help to fish and game clubs looking to improve their facilities, and to hunters and shooters looking for places to sight in their rifles and hone their skills," said Commissioner Patrick Berry. "Increased range opportunities encourage hunters to become more proficient with firearms and promote safe and responsible gun handling."
Examples of projects that could be eligible for funding include shooting range re-development, noise abatement structures, safety berms, shooting pads and stations, and the construction or improvement of access roads and parking lots. Grant money also can be used for lead mitigation. This could include recycling, reducing range floor surface drainage or even liming range property.
The department anticipates making $75,000 available this year. These funds are derived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program, which come from Federal excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment. This is a 75 percent reimbursement grant program and requires a 25 percent non-federal match from the grant recipient. This can come through 'in-kind' match, such as volunteer labor and donated equipment or cash.
Federal rules associated with this funding require that a range receiving one of these grants provide at least 20 hours of public use per week when in operation, and that the facility is open and made available at reasonable times to hunter education courses. Vermont nonprofit organizations, municipalities and clubs are eligible.
The deadline for application submittal is April 1, 2011. For further information or to download an application packet, visit the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Click on "Hunting and Trapping," and then on "Shooting Ranges in Vermont." Or, contact Chris Saunders, Hunter Education Coordinator at 802-241-3722.
Chris Saunders (802) 241-3722
Mark Scott (802) 241-3712
Jeff "Jesse" James - Owner of Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors
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