Shooting range operators got a shot in the arm when the 2005 Minnesota Legislature approved $300,000 in grant money to build or improve firearms and archery shooting ranges throughout the state.
The Shooting Range Development and Rehabilitation Grant Program will provide $150,000 in matching grants from now until June 30, 2006, to applicants meeting eligibility requirements. Another $150,000 in matching funds will be available on July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2008. All funds will be available on an ongoing basis until fully dispersed. These funds are provided through the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR) from its Environmental Trust Fund, which is derived from the state lottery.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has administered the grant program since 1999. Shooting ranges provide a training area for students enrolled in hunter/bow hunter education programs. Shooting ranges also provide hunters and recreational shooters a safe location to improve shooting skills.
During this current grant period, there will be only one application for both archery and firearms-related projects. Applications are available for download from the DNR Web site: www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/recreation/rangedev.
For additional information, contact Chuck Niska, DNR shooting range coordinator at (651) 297-2449.