DNR Shooting/Archery Range Development Grants Available

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today that $240,000 in Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources grant money is now available to nonprofit groups and organizations for the improvement of shooting and archery range facilities around the state.

The grants are designed to enhance the Minnesota Hunter Education Program by providing additional access to students for hunter safety education training and live firing, and to increase public access to recreational shooting facilities.

Total grant funding would be split equally between each group, with a $20,000 maximum available for each firearms improvement project such as the purchase of materials to repair, improve or expand shooting positions, benches, baffles, etc.

Archery ranges are eligible for up to a maximum $5,000 for each archery range improvement project, including target stands, backstop berms, shooting platforms, etc.

Any nonprofit group or organization that operates a shooting or archery range is eligible, according to DNR Shooting Range Coordinator Chuck Niska. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2006.

"We're looking toward working with basic types of installations for groups that really need our help rather than helping established shooting or archery operations fine tune their facilities," Niska said. "We want to help groups in need grow their capacity for shooting. With limited funding, this is the best use of public funding."

Grants will be dispersed according to criteria developed to enhance hunter safety and increase public access to ranges. Checks will be dispersed on a matching basis.

Information and application packages are available by calling DNR Shooting Range Coordinator Chuck Niska at (651) 297-2449 or via e-mail to chuck.niska@dnr.state.mn.us. Applications are also available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/fad/recreation/rangedev.html.