BFA and Sportsman Groups Secure $14.8 Million to Upgrade Ohio Shooting Ranges
NOTE: Buckeye Firearms Association leaders serve on the Division of Wildlife Range Committee and have played a key role in the Sportsmen's Alliance "Protect What's Right" campaign to get dollars into the Ohio budget for range upgrades around Ohio. There is still much work to do, but we are pleased to be part of this vital work for Ohio's millions of gun owners.
Ohio's State Controlling Board has approved funding for multiple Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) projects, including 4 key shooting ranges: Tranquility in Adams County, Spring Valley in Greene County, Indian Creek in Brown County, and Delaware in Delaware, Ohio.
These 4 ranges will receive a total of $14,852,000, with 75% paid through a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and 25% in state matching funds. The grant comes from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment.
This funding represents one part of a larger project to address $52 million in necessary upgrades and repairs across 14 public ranges over the next decade.
"I'm proud that we can play a part in this effort," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA). "And it shows what is possible when gun owners and sportsmen work together."
Launched by Sportsmen's Alliance, the Protect What's Right (PWR) campaign began in 2017, bringing together BFA and leading sporting organizations and gun clubs around Ohio to work with ODNR management and the DeWine administration to develop a strategy to address shortfalls in funding for shooting ranges and other issues.
Here are the details on the shooting range projects approved by the Controlling Board:
$2,300,000 for Tranquility Shooting Range in Adams County
The Tranquility Shooting Range has been shut down for several years due to safety issues and increased erosion. Given a recent site assessment and geotechnical survey, the range will be updated with appropriate grading and drainage, and properly constructed backstops and shooting lines to accommodate the increasing numbers of shooters in southern Ohio.
$2,200,000 for Spring Valley Shooting Range in Greene County
The second phase of the Spring Valley Shooting Range update includes the construction of the education center that will provide a facility for Hunter Education and R3-related activities (recruitment, retention, reactivation) to be facilitated onsite. This building will be a key component as the Division of Wildlife engages new audiences to increase participation in various outdoor pursuits. The completion date is set for next summer.
$1,300,000 for Indian Creek Shooting Range in Brown County
The Indian Creek Pistol Range project aims to create a new, small-bore range on the Indian Creek Wildlife Area. This project includes cleaning up the existing site via lead reclamation (previously a shotgun range that has been relocated) and constructing proper backstops and shooting lines necessary for meeting the needs of handgun shooters in southern Ohio.
$9,052,000 for Delaware Shooting Range in Delaware, Ohio
The project is being implemented to clean up the existing site via lead reclamation while increasing safety and shooting opportunities. The new range will include more shooting positions for the 100-yard rifle range and the handgun range and reorienting the shotgun range for more efficient lead management. An archery range and educational building are also being constructed to create a one-of-a-kind opportunity for shooters in central Ohio.
Other project funding approved includes renovations to Salt Fork Lodge, in Cambridge, Ohio; campground electrical improvements at Maumee Bay State Park in Lucas County; improvements at the Sandusky Fisheries Research Center; and a new restroom facility at Mosquito Lake State Park in Trumbull County.
The PWR campaign has previously lead to the purchase of 31,000 acres in Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, and Guernsey counties in eastern Ohio for conservation and recreation and significant renovations to Spring Valley Shooting Range in phase one of the modernization effort.