OLYMPIA — Shooting clubs and range operators have until June 30 to apply for federally funded grants that can be used to construct, maintain or expand public shooting-range facilities in Washington state.
The grants, which are coordinated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), are awarded each year through the department’s Shooting Range Program. Approximately $50,000 in competitive grants are expected to be awarded this year, with individual awards ranging from $5,000 for small-scale grants to $25,000 for large-scale grants.
The Shooting Range Program, which was established in 2002, supports development of not-for-profit shooting ranges with proceeds from a federal excise tax on archery equipment and firearms. Designed to help eligible shooting ranges pay for construction or other building expenses, the program is managed on a reimbursement basis.
Successful applicants are required to pay for construction and materials and are then reimbursed for up to 75 percent of the cost. The remaining 25 percent requires local matching money.
Annual grant funding through the shooting range program helps WDFW meet its goal of supporting recreational shooting in a safe and educational environment, said Mik Mikitik, WDFW hunter education coordinator.
“More than 165 shooting ranges located throughout Washington offer a safe environment for hunters and recreational shooters to hone their skills,” Mikitik said. “Funding from the program helps operators improve their facilities and provide safe, accessible shooting opportunities.”
Applicants must complete a detailed applications packet, including information on public range use, an environmental review, program narrative, user fees and charges.
Successful applicants will be notified in August on whether their application will receive a grant award. Information and applications for the grants are available through the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/enf/huntered/shootingranges.htm, or by contacting the Hunter Education program at (360) 902-8111,or firstname.lastname@example.org.